05 November 2006

If It's Sunday, It Must Be Time for Dog Walking Photoblogging . . .

To Switch things up, drove a short distance over to West Los Angeles - Westwood area so that I'd have some different things to photoblog. Problem was, didn't take any back-up batteries, and this camera has an annoying habit of misreporting battery strength.

Still got a few good shots, (the Flicker set is here).

Memorial to Veterans of the Spanish American War (4 of 7)

Doesn't that phrase, "To those who volunteered and extended the hand of liberty to alien peoples" seem awfully appropriate for these times as well?

Memorial to Veterans of the Spanish American War (2 of 7)
Memorial to Veterans of the Spanish American War (3 of 7)
Memorial to Veterans of the Spanish American War (6 of 7)
Memorial to Veterans of the Spanish American War (5 of 7)

Of course, the statue this plaque is on, I'd be surprised if they'd erect something similar today.

Los Angeles National Cemetery (SE Corner)

A view into the Los Angeles National Cemetery (which by snapping that photo without previous written permission, could be construed as a violation of their policy). My grandfather is in Section 404 Row B Site 38. He died before I was born, so I only knew him as a name on a burial plot (my name, as a matter of fact, I'm not the only person to see a grave with their name, but still a bit creepy when you're a toddler), and a face from photographs. He was drafted into the Army during WWII and served until 1946 (he was stationed in a remote, cold village in Hokkaido for the entire winter after VJ-Day). Even though he was already a policeman back in Santa Monica (with top marks in marksmanship), he wasn't assigned to a combat unit, instead he primarily identified remains and typed death notices for the Pacific Theater (most black soldiers didn't serve in combat) in the aftermath of major combat operations. He was kept very busy at Iwo Jima, or at least that's what my father said recently (the controversy over the lack of black soldiers in Flag of Our Fathers brought this up, according to my father's retelling of what his father said, there were almost no black combat troops there, but the logistics and clean-up after the battle was primarily made up of black soldiers like my grandfather). The horrors of combat are one thing, and not to be discounted, but the horror of being detailed to help 'clean-up' the battlefield must have also been traumatic. Also, I think my grandfather's plot is very near the tree on the far left of the above photo. The units may have been segregated, but this cemetery never was (some of the Buffalo Soldiers from the Civil War rest in the same cemetery as my grandfather).

1 comment:

Pastor_Jeff said...

Nice pictures of the monument.

I've often thought you can get an idea of what a people think about themselves and their future by their architecture. It's a shame they don't make them like this anymore -- focusing on victory, honor, courage, sacrifice, glory.

The Vietnam Memorial is moving, but it's basically a gigantic headstone -- no sense of the cause, of why those lives were lost, of purpose and nobility even in failure. It's like John Kerry designed the thing.

Give me monuments like this one any day.