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Remembering San Bernardino

San Bernardino Terrorist Attack - Dec. 2, 2015

San Bernardino Terrorist Attack – Dec. 2, 2015

On December 2, 2015, fourteen people were killed and 21 injured in a mass shooting at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California, United States. Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, a married couple, targeted a San Bernardino County Department of Public Health training event and holiday party of about 80 employees in a rented banquet room. Farook was an American-born citizen of Pakistani descent, while his wife was a Pakistani-born legal resident of the U.S. He had attended the event as an employee before the shooting.

Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. The text in this posting originally appeared in Wikipedia.

En Mémoire

En Mémoire

On the evening of 13 November 2015, a series of coordinated terrorist attacks—consisting of mass shootings, suicide bombings and hostage-taking—occurred in Paris, France, and Saint-Denis, its northern suburb. Beginning at 21:16 CET, six mass shootings and three separate suicide bombings near the Stade de France occurred. The deadliest attack was at the Bataclan theatre, where attackers took hostages and engaged in a stand-off with police which ended at 00:58 on 14 November.

At least 129 people were killed, 89 of them at the Bataclan theatre. A further 352 people were injured by the attacks,  including 99 people described as being in a serious condition. In addition to the civilian casualties, eight attackers were killed and authorities continued to search for any accomplices that remained at large. Prior to the attack, France had been on high alert since the January 2015 attacks in Paris that killed 17 people, including civilians and police officers.

At 23:58, French President François Hollande announced a state of emergency, the first since the 2005 riots, and placed temporary controls on the country’s borders. The first citywide curfew in Paris since 1944 was also put in place.

On 14 November, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attacks. ISIL’s motive may have been retaliation for French involvement in the Syrian Civil War and Iraqi Civil War. Hollande said the attacks were organised from abroad “by Daesh,” a pejorative Arabic acronym for ISIL, “with internal help,” and described them as “an act of war.”

The attacks were the deadliest to occur in France since the Second World War, and the deadliest in the European Union since the Madrid train bombings in 2004. En Mémoire.

Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. The text in this posting originally appeared in Wikipedia.

Happy Birthday USMC
240 Years

USMC - 240 Years

The United States Marine Corps traces its institutional roots to the Continental Marines of the American Revolutionary War, formed by Captain Samuel Nicholas by a resolution of the Second Continental Congress on 10 November 1775, to raise two battalions of Marines. That date is regarded and celebrated as the date of the Marine Corps’ birthday. At the end of the American Revolution, both the Continental Navy and Continental Marines were disbanded in April 1783. The institution itself would not be resurrected until 11 July 1798. At that time, in preparation for the Quasi-War with France, Congress created the United States Marine Corps. Marines had been enlisted by the War Department as early as August 1797 for service in the new-build frigates authorized by the Congressional “Act to provide a Naval Armament” of 18 March 1794, which specified the numbers of Marines to be recruited for each frigate.

The Marines’ most famous action of this period occurred during the First Barbary War (1801–1805) against the Barbary pirates, when William Eaton and First Lieutenant Presley O’Bannon led eight Marines and 500 mercenaries in an effort to capture Tripoli. Though they only reached Derna, the action at Tripoli has been immortalized in the Marines’ hymn and the Mameluke Sword carried by Marine officers.

During the War of 1812, Marine naval detachments took part in the great frigate duels that characterized the war, which were the first and last engagements of the conflict. Their most significant contribution was holding the center of Gen. Andrew Jackson‘s defensive line at the Battle of New Orleans, the final major battle of the conflict. By the end of the war, most notably during the capture of HMS CyaneLevant, and Penguin, the final engagements between British and American forces, the Marines had acquired a well-deserved reputation as expert marksmen, especially in ship-to-ship actions.

(Attribution – Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License)

2015 “Super-Harvest Blood Moon”

September 2015 Super Blood Red Moon

September 2015 Super Blood Red Moon

Every 25 to 30 years, give or take, we are able to see a super blood moon. A super blood moon occurs when the moon reaches its full phase at or near the closest approach to Earth, and appears abnormally large, about 14% larger, and about 30% brighter as a result. This event is pretty special; the last super blood moon eclipse occurred in 1982, and the next won’t take place until 2033. In this particular super moon, three things are happening at the same time.

The moon will be full and at its closest point in its orbit around the Earth, additionally, a lunar eclipse will occur. In other words, the Earth will line up directly with the sun and moon, directly between the two.

The last time I shot the moon, it appeared to be larger than tonight’s sighting, making it easier to manually focus on it. Tonight I attempted to auto focus and that did not work, I did manage to manually focus. However, attempting to focus on an object 238,900 miles away is never easy.

Remembering On
 Veterans Day

Remembering On Veterans Day

Remembering On Veterans Day

I constructed this poster collage some years ago with a different set of photos. Every so often I change a few of the photos and change the style and placement to update the poster. This is the latest rendition re-created in 2013.

Many people don’t know the origin of Veterans Day. All they know is that it is a day off from work, and the stores have their wares on sale. The following text is from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website.

“An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday—a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as “Armistice Day.” Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting in its place the word “Veterans.” With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.”

When I was a kid in Brooklyn, growing up in the 1950s, on Veterans Day you would see many veterans going into the local Veterans of Foreign Wars post and the American Legion post for a ceremony remembering their fallen brothers. Afterwards they would have a light repast consisting of hot dogs and beer. I imagine the same is true today, although many posts have closed.

I made the photo of Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia in 2005. This photo is unique because you only see three guards walking together when they change the guard. These soldiers are dedicated to protecting the tomb and never falter performing their duty.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall photo and the Three Soldiers Statue at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial photos were also made in 2005.

The photo of flags lining a drive in New Jersey in preparation for a Veterans Day memorial ceremony, was made in 2008. It was a quick grab shot and came out quite well.

My son Rob Lukaszewicz is in the California National Guard unit training at Ft. Knox, Kentucky photo; he’s the soldier on the left side of the photo facing the group. My dad is in the Ft. Belvoir photo; he is the fourth from the right side of the photo, bottom row. He was a combat engineer in WWII, serving first in the Philippines and then in Japan during occupation and reconstruction. At the time Ft. Belvoir was home to the Army’s Combat Engineers.

The photo of the POW★MIA Flag is from the POW★MIA website. If you don’t know about the origin of this flag, please visit their website. There are still over one thousand service members still missing from the Vietnam War and the organization is still very active.

The photos of the gravestones were made at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, Point Loma, San Diego, California. This cemetery is unique in that it is located inside Fort Rosecrans Military Reservation. Located on Point Loma is Naval Base San Diego, Fort Rosecrans and Cabrillo National Monument administered by the National Park Service. Planning on visiting this area remember you are subject to vehicle searches and federal law, so plan accordingly; read: no firearms or funny cigarettes. Be on your best behavior.

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