May 2023 bring joy to all!
May 2023 bring joy to all!
Every year I talk about this day because it is one that must be remembered. Eighty-one years ago Pearl Harbor was attacked and in those few hours, the fate of many was decided. It set this country on a course that could not be altered and for four years we fought for freedom. Today is a special day to honor and remember what happened on December 7th. Of all the historic events from WWII, this certainly is one that most people recall. The photographs from that day are eerie to look at now especially if you’ve ever visited the islands and seen what it’s like today.
The rusted mast of one of the USS Arizona’s stacks is all that can be seen above water. It’s a far cry different than the image seen of the ship taken on that fateful day. Under the water’s surface still lies the remains of the crew submerged inside the ship, another reminder of what’s not to be forgotten.
Today is Veterans Day. A day that everyone should be thankful for those that helped make this country what it is and the sacrifice they gave. I’ve had the great fortune over the years to have met and talked with many vets, while most of them fought in WWII they all had the same message. “That was our job, it needed to be done, but I’m glad it ended.” A soldier lives a different kind of life, one that most of us can’t understand. If you see a vet today make sure you say thanks. It’s the least you can do for them considering what they have done for us.
We live in a unique country that provides us with many freedoms. As you enjoy time with friends, family, BBQs, drinking, and relaxing, stop and remember that today was not an easy-fought victory. Happy 4th everybody.
Today we honor the many sacrifices that were made seventy-seven years ago, when on May 8th, 1945 VE Day, Victory Europe was declared. The end of WWII in Europe had begun with the German surrender and while the war continued on in the Pacific and peace was not entirely secured yet in Europe, the end was in sight. Today is an important day to remember that hard-fought victory and the many sacrifices that were made.
WWII changed the lives of everyone. It was the second time in the same century that the world was engaged in conflict and sadly it was not the last time that nations were fighting each other. Kids and adults had to fight to secure peace. It was not an easy victory, it took time and many lives. As we go through these uncertain times now, let us not forget the past and most certainly not repeat it.
Seven years ago, I had the privilege to document the Arsenal of Democracy Flyover, in which 52 aircraft flew over the nation’s capital in honor of the 70th anniversary of VE Day. Over 800 veterans and 30,000 people were in attendance at the national mall. The Texas Flying Legends Museum brought eight aircraft in support of the flyover. This is what it was like for them.
Spring in the Rockies is such a fun time of the year. The days are longer and warmer but the storms are still moving through so the afternoons can be filled with some great cloud-filled skies. I know I’ve talked a lot about clouds before but they do add more unique elements to landscape photos than just a blue sky. Not only that, but when you have a nice lake reflecting that sky, all the clouds add more patterns to the water’s surface making that lake look more interesting. On top of all that, there is something peaceful about a nice calm spring afternoon outside.
Certain times of the year are better for fishing than others because the fish have changed color and are more “beautiful” to catch. I put that in quotes because from a sheer enjoyment factor, every minute out is fun but photographically we are always looking for more color or vibrancy that makes the subject pop and stand out from others. Rainbows are in their Spring spawning phase and in smaller streams, it’s common to find reds that are filled with eggs. It is important to be extremely careful around these reds as a footprint can destroy them and thus destroy future generations of fish. Once you catch that one specimen that deserves a little extra time, keyword there is little, be sure to keep it wet while taking a photo and focus on the smaller details and the whole specimen. The cheeks and eyes caught my attention on this cut-bow which is why I focused closely on the face. It put up a good fight, so it was fast in and out of the net.
You might have seen that title and wondered what the heck I was talking about. 10 years ago I went to Grimes Field in Urbana, OH for the 70th anniversary of the Doolittle Raid. It was an event like no other and it cemented my love of aviation. There were 20 of the flying B-25’s in the world at one place at one time, it was the most ever seen together since WWII. Better than that four of the last surviving Doolittle Raiders were in attendance, along with Carol Glines an honorary raider, and one of the survivors of the USS Hornet CV-8 (I’m sorry to say I don’t recall his name at this time). Since then, Edward Saylor, Dick Cole, David Thatcher, and Thomas Griffin have all passed away with Dick Cole being the last of the raiders to go. Today marks the 80th anniversary of the raid that made them all famous.
After the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941, Roosevelt went to Congress to ask to declare a proclamation of war against Japan. Congress agreed and soon after Japan and Germany declared war on the US with the US declaring war on Germany. This would set off the United States’ involvement in WWII. Roosevelt went to his military leaders to come up with a strike against the heart of Japan in response to Pearl Harbor. A submarine commander came up with the idea of launching bombers from a carrier to attack mainland Japan. It was a bold and highly dangerous plan in which the precious American fleet would have to go well into the domain of the far superior Japanese fleet. 16 B-25 bombers launched from the USS Hornet on April 18th, 1942, and bombed mainland Japan before flying further onto China where the planes were to be handed over to American allies in China for further use in the war. This did not happen as all but 1 plane crashed due to bad weather and nightfall. The one surviving plane landed in Russia and was confiscated. The history of the raid is fascinating and many historians have spent a lot of time researching and interviewing survivors from all nations. This blog post hardly does it justice. You can read an older post of mine here to learn a little more but I would advise you to pick up Carol Glines, the Doolittle Raid for a more in-depth account of events.
Lastly, while the anniversary of the Doolittle Raid has always been about the brave men that took part in the raid itself, being able to remember and honor those folks wouldn’t have been possible without volunteers like those of the Children of the Doolittle Raiders, National Museum of the United States Air Force, all the private museums that fly and maintain the B-25’s and all the folks that are involved with these planes, the veterans and honestly those just helping to make these events function.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Sunday.