Category Archives: WWI

Lens-Artists Challenge #168 – Seen Better Days

This week Tina of the Lens Artists team invites us to join them in exploring places and things that have “seen better days”. I’ll explain the reason I close the photos for this theme.

My husband, Lynton, is a helicopter pilot. During our travel, we often visited the military aircraft museums, submarines, and battleships. He wanted to be in the military to defend this country, but he was in the middle of his schooling and missed the opportunities. He has family members who were in the services for many years, but I’ll stay on track to do this post.

When we went to Arizona one year, we visited the Luke Air Force Base Airpark. The aircraft had their glorious and courageous days to defend this country or assist other countries. I took many photos of the aircraft displayed and included these four in this post. They proudly retired. Their appearance reminds us of the price the heroes paid for our freedom.

“Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it… it flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it.” – Unknown

Fighter aircraft are fixed-wing military aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air combat. In military conflict, the role of fighter aircraft is to establish an air superiority in the battle space. Domination of the airspace above a battlefield permits bombers and attack aircraft to engage in tactical and strategic bombing of enemy targets.

The Lockheed C-5 Galaxy is a large military transport aircraft. The USAF has operated the C-5 since 1969. At that time, the air lifter supported US military operations in all major conflicts, including Vietnam, Iraq, Yugoslavia, and Afghanistan, as well as allied support, such as Israel during the Yom Kippur War and operations in the Gulf War. The Galaxy has also distributed humanitarian aid, provided disaster relief, and supported the US space program.

The C-130H performs the tactical portion of the airlift mission and can carry out a diverse number of roles, including airlift support, Antarctic ice resupply, aeromedical missions, weather reconnaissance, aerial spray missions, firefighting duties, and natural disaster relief missions. 

I’m not an aircraft expert and can’t identify this fighter aircraft. It looks like this is a single seat F-16 fighting falcon. I know there are experts and retired military heroes out there. You could help me identify this one.

Air Force Rescue helicopter can be deployed in casualty evacuation, medical evacuation, non-combatant evacuation missions, civil search-and-rescue, humanitarian aid, disaster relief, and insertion or extraction of combat forces.

In Boston, we took photos of the USS Constitution and toured the warship USS Casson Young.

“Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves, as he best can, the same cause.” – Abraham Lincoln

The greatest glory for Constitution came during the War of 1812. Constitution’s crew defeated four British frigates during three separate engagements. She earned the nickname “Old Ironsides” because the cannon fire from enemy ships seemed as if they couldn’t penetrate her strong oak hull.

Built for speed and capability, USS Cassin Young engaged in seven Pacific battles in World War II, survived two Kamikaze hits, and served another full decade beyond her expected lifetime. Built in 1943 in San Pedro, California, she is one of 175 Fletcher-class destroyers built during World War II. 

When we were in Australia, we visited The Australian National Maritime Museum and toured the destroyer HMAS Vampire, and the submarine HMAS Onslow

“The sanctity of our battlefields, monuments, and veteran’s institutions is of utmost importance to preserve military history and pay respect to those who fought.” – Henry Waxman

HMAS Vampire was the third of three Australian-built destroyers serving in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). One of the all-welded ships built in Australia.

The submarine Onslow was laid down at the end of 1967 by Scott Shipbuilding and Engineering Company in Scotland, launched almost a year later, and commissioned into the RAN at the end of 1969.

.

Lens-Artists Challenge #168 – Seen Better Days

Thank you for reading

Have a Wonderful Week

.

.

Silent Night – The Composition, The Story of WWI, and The Choir

Silent Night is one of my favorite Christmas Carols. I would like to review some of the stories behind this 202 years old popular Christmas music.

The Composition

Chapel2.jpg
The Silent Night Chapel is located in Oberndorf dei Salzburg, Austria, where the song was first performed

“Silent Night” (German: Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht) is a popular Christmas Carol. The lyrics were written by Joseph Mohr in Salzburg, Austria. The melody was composed by Franz Xaver Gruber, schoolmaster and organist in the nearby village of Arnsdorf.

Before Christmas Eve, Mohr brought the words to Gruber and asked him to compose a melody and guitar accompaniment. The first performance of the carol was on December 24, 1818, in the Christmas Eve mass.

Over the years, because the original manuscript had been lost, Mohr’s name was forgotten and although Gruber was known to be the composer, many people assumed the melody was composed by a famous composer, and it was variously attributed to Haydn, Mozart, or Beethoven. However, a manuscript was discovered in 1995 in Mohr’s handwriting and dated by researchers as c. 1820. It states that Mohr wrote the words in 1816 when he was assigned to a pilgrim church in Mariapfarr, Austria, and shows that the music was composed by Gruber in 1818. This is the earliest manuscript that exists and the only one in Mohr’s handwriting. (Source)

~

The Story of the World War I Christmas Truce of 1914 by Naina Bajekal

German and British troops celebrating Christmas together during a temporary cessation of WWI hostilities known as the Christmas Truce.
German and British troops celebrating Christmas together during a temporary cessation of WWI hostilities known as the Christmas Truce. Mansell—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

In 1914, just a few months into a war, Pope Benedict XV, who took office that September, had originally called for a Christmas truce, an idea that was officially rejected. Yet it seems the sheer misery of daily life in the cold, wet, dull trenches was enough to motivate troops to initiate the truce on their own…

It’s hard to pin down exactly what happened. A huge range of differing oral accounts, diary entries and letters home from those who took part make it virtually impossible to speak of a “typical” Christmas truce as it took place across the Western front… Nevertheless, some two-thirds of troops — about 100,000 people — are believed to have participated in the legendary truce…

Most accounts suggest the truce began with carol singing from the trenches on Christmas Eve, “a beautiful moonlit night, frost on the ground, white almost everywhere”, as Pvt. Albert Moren of the Second Queens Regiment recalled. Graham Williams of the Fifth London Rifle Brigade described it in even greater detail:

“First the Germans would sing one of their carols and then we would sing one of ours, until when we started up ‘O Come, All Ye Faithful’ the Germans immediately joined in singing the same hymn to the Latin words Adeste Fideles. And I thought, well, this is really a most extraordinary thing ­– two nations both singing the same carol in the middle of a war.”

The next morning, in some places, German soldiers emerged from their trenches, calling out “Merry Christmas” in English. Allied soldiers came out warily to greet them. In others, Germans held up signs reading “You no shoot, we no shoot.” Over the course of the day, troops exchanged gifts of cigarettes, food, buttons, and hats. The Christmas truce also allowed both sides to finally bury their dead comrades, whose bodies had lain for weeks on “no man’s land,” the ground between opposing trenches.

~

I chose this arrangement of Silent Night performed by the Winchester Cathedral Choir on December 27, 2010

.

.

.