Friday, May 28, 2010

In Memory Day

Just a thing or two I thought I would share:

Each year for the past 40 years, the 3rd U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard) has honored America's fallen heroes by placing American flags before the gravestones and niches of service members buried at both Arlington National Cemetery and the U.S. Soldier's and Airmen's Home National Cemetery just prior to Memorial Day weekend.
This tradition, known as "flags in," has been conducted annually since The Old Guard was designated as the Army's official ceremonial unit in 1948. Every available soldier in the 3rd U.S. Infantry participates, placing small American flags one foot in front and centered before each grave marker.
During an approximately three-hour period, the soldiers place flags in front of more than 260,000 gravestones and about 7,300 niches at the cemetery's columbarium. Another 13,500 flags are placed at the Soldier's and Airmen's Cemetery. As part of this yearly memorial activity, Old Guard soldiers remain in the cemetery throughout the weekend, ensuring that a flag remains at each gravestone.
American flags are also placed at the graves of each of the four unknown service men interred at the Tomb of the Unknowns, by the Tomb Sentinels. All flags are removed after Memorial Day before each cemetery is opened to the public.

In Memory Day:

Francis Gary Powers

At the height of the Cold War, the Soviet Union shot down a U-2 reconnaissance plane deep inside Russia on May 1, 1960. The plane was being operated by the Central Intelligence Agency and was piloted by Francis Gary Powers. Powers was held and tried for espionage by the Russians. He was convicted and was sentenced to ten years in a Soviet Prison. He served less than two years, and was exchanged for a convicted Soviet Spy being held in the United States. On February 10, 1962, he was released from captivity at the Glienicker-Brucke Bridge between East and West Germany. Powers returned to the United States and was exonerated by the US Congress after he returned home in 1962 and his reputation cleared on May 1, 2000 when he was posthumously awarded the POW Medal and CIA's Director's Medal on the 40th anniversary of the shoot down. He found employment as a reporter with KNBC in Los Angeles and on August 1, 1977, he died in a helicopter crash while covering a story on a brush fire near Los Angeles. He is interred in Section 11, Grave 685-2.

I didn't know this man, but his hand is one of the many I would like to have the privilege to shake.


Needled Mom said...

There are many whom I would like to shake hands and thank for all that they did. This is a wonderful post.

Deb said...

Thank You Sinta! I agree, so many who gave the ultimate sacrifice for US...all of us!! I am blessed to have a brother who came home many years ago, so i do try to remember all year long...but can always use a reminder. Deb~~~overtheroadquilter

PunkiePie said...

What a wonderful post. Thank you Sinta! BTW - Congratulations on your awesome win over on Jaybirdquilts!

Polly said...

Amen, Sinta! Polly

Gran said...

Your post is a wonderful reminder of those who have honoured us with their courage and bravery.

Robin (rsislandcrafts) said...

Beautiful post! I didn't know they closed the cemetery this weekend.

Sharon said...

Thanks for the awesome post! Have a great weekend!

Angela said...

I agree with Polly -- AMEN.

prashant said...

What a wonderful post.
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Béa said...

Hi Sinta, I posted my Schnibbles for May, if you want to have a look !

Polly said...

Thank you for sharing that wonderful story we can all celebrate on this Memorial Day. God Bless America! Polly
P.S. Just so I don't forget, here's my Schnibbles post for May.

Kelly@ Charming Chatter said...

What a great post, Sinta! Thank you for sharing a bit of history with us - and for reminding us to be grateful for those who serve and have served our country!