Thursday, November 29, 2007

Day 18, Head Stones, Riverside National Cemetery

A little more from the time I spent at the Riverside National Cemetery.

The Web Site from the VA says this, "Riverside National Cemetery is the third-largest cemetery managed by the National Cemetery Administration, and since 2000 has been the most active in the system based on the number of interments. It was established in 1976 through the transfer of 740 acres from March Air Force Base, which during World War II was called the U.S. Army's Camp William G. Haan. The cemetery was dedicated and opened for burials Nov. 11, 1978. An additional 181 acres was transferred by the Air Force in 2003.

Riverside National cemetery is home of the Medal of Honor Memorial and one of four sites recognized as a National Medal of Honor Memorial Site. The Medal of Honor Memorial, whose walls feature the names of all medal recipients, is located at the third traffic circle in the cemetery. It was dedicated in 1999.

The Fallen Soldier/Veterans' Memorial, erected in 2000, is dedicated to all service members who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country. The dramatic bronze structure topped by a lifeless soldier is located near the lake at the entrance to the cemetery.

A carillon was donated by the American Veterans (AMVETS) in 2000.

The Prisoner of War/Missing in Action National Memorial was designated as a national memorial by the U.S. Congress in 2004 through Public Law 108-454. The memorial was dedicated on September 16, 2005. Vietnam veteran Lewis Lee Millett, Jr., sculpted the bronze statue which depicts an American serviceman on his knees with hands bound by his captors. The statue is surrounded by black marble pillars that evoke imprisonment."

Also, notable people buried here include, 

Colonel Aaron Bank, U.S. Army. Founder of the Army’s elite Green Berets. During World War II Bank was assigned to the Office of Strategic Services within the Army’s Special Operations branch. After the war he stayed with the Army, and convinced them to create a permanent Special Forces unit. In 2002, President George W. Bush bestowed Bank with a commendation for creating the techniques used to defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan. He died in 2004 at the age of 101. Section 17 Site 421.

John D. McKeel, Jr., Staff Sgt., U.S. Marine Corps. One of the 52 Americans held hostage by Iran from 1979 to 1981. Shot to death while trying to help a woman who was being robbed. Section 43 Site 1528.

Seven Tuskegee Airmen are buried at Riverside National Cemetery: 1) Dr. Hackley E. Woodford, M.D., a Tuskegee Airmen flight surgeon who served during World War II, is buried at Section 49A Site 1149. 2) Pilot Perry Willis Lindsey, who served during World War II and the Korean War, is buried at Section 63A Site 768. 3) John Allen Pulliams Jr., served during World War II and went on to serve 30 years in the U.S. Air Force. He retired as a Chief Warrant Officer and is buried at Section 47 Site 1603. 4) Pilot Charles F. Jamerson is buried at Section 56A Site 668. Major Jamerson retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1977 after more than 32 years of service. 5) Pilot Kenneth R. Hawkins is buried in Section 57A Site 2204. 6) Pilot John L. Hamilton is buried in Section 6 Site 270.  7) Charles W. Ledbetter, who served during World II and Korea, retiring after 30 years as an Air Forces Master Sergeant, is buried at Section 26 Site 1426.

Woodrow "Woody" Strode, Section 46, Grave 283. Woody Strode starred as 1st Sergeant Braxton Rutledge, a Buffalo soldier, in the 1960 John Ford movie "Sergeant Rutledge.” He starred in over 80 domestic and foreign films in a career that spanned nearly 55 years. Strode was also one of the first four blacks to integrate Major League football in 1946 when he played for the Cleveland Rams.

Melissa Rose Barnes, Yeoman First Class (YN1), U.S. Navy. Killed during the terrorist attack on the Pentagon, Sept. 11, 2001. Section 56B Site 123.




Camera:Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi
Exposure:0.013 sec (1/80)
Focal Length:55 mm
ISO Speed:400
Exposure Bias:0/3 EV

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