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Photography by John Michael

"Preserving the memories so others will remember"™

The Value of Monuments

A monument is an expressive symbol. A good one, looked at for even a few minutes will remain in memory for years or even for one’s entire lifetime. Monuments are the milestones in a nation’s history — they will not allow other systems and governments to destroy the core values of a national culture.

—Andrzej Pitynski

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Posted 3 years ago at 5:44 am.

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The tradition continues –

Earlier this week another small milestone was set in history…

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Posted 7 years, 3 months ago at 12:44 am.

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And the survey said…

The Old Guard on Parade

The Old Guard On Parade

they’re still the best kept secret!

I spent a week on a special mission.   I wanted to find out peoples’ awareness in the Washington DC area.   I asked about the sports teams, and most people knew without any coaching what teams they had for baseball, football, basketball, hockey and more.   I also asked who would defend Washington DC if a disaster struck.

I even showed photos of …

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Posted 7 years, 3 months ago at 8:47 pm.

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PART TWO: TOG on a Mission – 2010

PART ONE of this entry touched on the selection and inclusion of the photos from the cover through JUN 2010.   PART TWO  gets a bit more into history and background rather than the selection of photos as I go through JUL to DEC of 2010.
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Posted 7 years, 5 months ago at 5:50 am.

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PART ONE: TOG on a Mission – 2010

Here’s a more in-depth look at the making and background of the calendar – “The Old Guard on Mission – 2010” – some history and little known facts…

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Posted 7 years, 5 months ago at 5:50 am.

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2010 Old Guard Calendar is…

Here!

John Michael broke new ground when he published the “First” Calendar about the US Army’s 3d Infantry Regiment – “The Old Guard on Parade – 2009”  – The Escort to the President.  Many have seen this regiment earlier this year as they led and participated in the Presidential Inauguration.  Their ceremonial presence is only part of their story.  After pouring through thousands of photographs taken primarily in 2009, a theme finally emerged to tell the story about these Soldiers that few people ever see.

Soldiers in this elite regiment are called upon to do a number of different missions on a daily basis… most of which the public never sees or is even aware.   It’s hoped that the selection of these images provides a small glimpse of the varied assignments carried out and their contributions made as service to the United States of America…

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Posted 7 years, 6 months ago at 4:24 pm.

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Spirit of America – US Army Style!

I had a small inkling of what to expect having spent many days among the Old Guard and US Army Band – “Pershing’s Own” – but after the show began, I thought different. What unfurled was a extravaganza that kept moving right up until intermission… it was fast action, informative, precision, pageantry with a heavy dose of history mixed into the delivery.    I was truly impressed and after the two hours of show, my camera had recorded over 800 photos of these Soldiers in action…  I’m sure the attendees in Columbus, OH and Providence, RI would have the same impression or better.

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Posted 7 years, 9 months ago at 11:59 am.

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13 Reasons to donate to The Old Guard Museum

In 2008, after speaking with men who had served in the Presidential Salute Battery as far back as the 1950’s, I concluded that there hadn’t been a calendar for the US Army’s oldest and most historic infantry regiment – 3d Infantry – “The Old Guard”

I had, since 2000 captured thousands of photographs from the final honors at Arlington National Cemetery, the change of commands, the retirements, Presidential Salute Battery missions, Twilight Tatoo and more. What would be the first calendar for this historic regiment, should be something to tie in with the new President that the United States was “inuagurating” in 2009 – The Old Guard is “The Escort to the President” – AHAH! Why not select the photos that showcase all the elite units and the regiment in all their pageantry and splendor.

That’s how “The Old Guard on Parade – 2009” became an inspiration. To become a reality, I had to find just the right photos that made this calendar the best for the best! With the help of the public affairs office of TOG, I was able to borrow a couple of photos that completed the 13 pages of photographs … 13 Reasons to donate to The Old Guard Museum!
The calendar, A COLLECTOR’s ITEM, is still available for sale via the links that are on this blog or my website Photography by John Michael – www.John-Michael.net But come 31 MARCH 2009 it will disappear from any online sales. So if you’d like to be one of those who has this “RARE” item, BUY NOW!
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Posted 8 years, 3 months ago at 6:55 am.

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Tour of Fort Myer and Arlington National Cemetery…

I had a glorious day today. A new friend who I met on Facebook came to Washington, DC to visit his dad’s final resting place at Arlington National Cemetery. When he let me know he was coming into town with his father-in-law, I offered to give them a ride and tour of Fort Myer and Arlington National Cemetery…

We drove around the Post of FORT Myer, and I pointed out the buildings that were once stables (Fort Myer once had over 1,500 horses located within the Post’s acres. I learned today that it was supplied by a re-mount depot at Front Royal Virginia as part of the  US ARMY’s Remount Service.) We then visited the Caisson Platoon as they were tending to their horses. From there, we walked across the street to view the offerings of the gift shop tended by the Old Guard Ladies Association (my guest wanted to purchase one of the calendars that he had heard and saw so much about – “The Old Guard on Parade – 2009” … while there I let the staff know that the next tribute to the Old Guard would be soon available.

We finished our tour of Fort Myer almost, when I encountered one of the “watchmen” from the Presidential Salute Battery – The Guns Platoon. I introduced my guests to the soldier who promptly provided some great background on the work and missions he and the rest of the platoon execute including the 21 GUN Salute.

From Fort Myer, we headed into Arlington National Cemetery. Me with my eye on the time so we could observe the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns. After going around for a while, it was time to head to the Tomb of the Unknowns. I looked closely at the Tomb Guard walking the mat (they all look the same with their sunglasses on and their smartly presented uniforms) … Yes it was… a soldier who had been a neighbor down-the-hall when he lived in the same building… he was “walking the mat” as the guards refer to it (you can see the indentations of their patrol of 21 steps worn into the mat)

I positioned myself down in front to the North of the Tomb to get some good up close photos… As the sentinel performed his duty, I got an acknowledgement that he knew I was there (I’m not telling how he let me know, but he did TWICE!!!) and greeted me.

My guests were really into the changing of the guard and “my” Tomb Guard did a flawless execution. Later we went into the building behind the tomb and I provided some background of how things came to be. To my surprise, “my” Tomb Guard came up to me and spent a few moments with us before he needed to return to the barracks under the building to rest before his next tour of guard duty. Thanks Benton! Great Job… Keep up the good work and my Boston based friends were honored to meet you!

One of my guests remarked that it was a true honor to meet that soldier, especially when informed him that the Tomb Guard Badge that he earned was the least awarded in the entire US military. The number is currently around 600 since the US ARMY has been guarding the Tomb of the Unknowns.

From there, we went to my friend’s father’s final resting place. He was 1st Cavalry, US Army and in Air Assault – helicopters… as we neared his spot, a Blackhawk lifted off from the Pentagon and swung nearby. I remarked to my friend “Must be your dad saying hello…”

I love what I do… my mission of “Preserving the memories so others will remember…” ™

Have you been to Arlington National Cemetery?    How about Fort Myer?   Please share your experiences.

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Posted 8 years, 4 months ago at 8:18 pm.

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You made my Sunday…

I was going to get up early and scout the area where I think the Guns Platoon will be setting up and firing on Tuesday. but something drew me to the laptop (I had left it on and wanted to conserve some energy) – FB was open and I saw I had a new message that I read and had the urge to respond.

It was from a SSG deployed in Iraq who had served in the Caisson Platoon of the 3d Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) of the US Army. He wanted to know about the calendar “The Old Guard on Parade – 2009”

However, before I was able to hit “reply”, the chat box on FB popped and it was him… we began chatting and I learned that he nearly had 1,000 missions at Arlington National Cemetery. He wanted to hit that mark, but thought it better to help teach other soldiers and train horses “to do it right” {transfer of knowledge is ALWAYS more important, which is why I continue “Preserving the memories so others will remember…” ™}

We continued to chat and I continued to share some of the work I’ve done over the years and plans for the future.

I thanked him for his service and asked him to “Take care of you for me…” as he was heading out on a 20 hour mission…

Thank you SSG – Thank you for your service! Thank you for making my Sunday!

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Posted 8 years, 5 months ago at 3:21 pm.

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