I cannot say it any better than a family member did in a post on Facebook today, so I will just quote her instead.
"Today I not only remember and honor those who have sacrificed their lives for my freedom. I also honor those who can never forget the things they have seen, heard, smelled and had to do. Those who cannot sleep at night because of these memories, and those that can, which haunts them even more. Thank you for having more integrity, bravery and strength than most, including myself."
These are images from the sunrise and placement of flags by volunteers at the grave markers at Fort Logan National Cemetery on Saturday, May 25, 2013. Over 400 Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Young Marines, and other volunteers gathered to plant the thousands of flags across the 214 acres of land on Saturday. There are approxiamtely 100,000 grave markers, and there were about 150,000 flags set out for the volunteers to place. After receiving instructions, the groups split off and moved throughout the cemetery to prepare Fort Logan National Cemetery for today's Memorial Day service. On Tuesday, the flags will be picked up by volunteers.
The orignal fort was named after Union General John A. Logan who led the US Volunteer force during the American Civil War. In 1889 a little over three acres was set aside for a post cemetery and the first recorded burial was Private Peterkin's daughter, Mable Peterkin, who died on June 28, 1889.
The land the post and the fort sits on grew and shrank in size over the years since its inception in 1887. In 1950, Congress authorized the use of the land as a national cemetery. but limited it to 160 acres. The land has since grown to 214 acres (though it has been larger before becoming a national cemetery).
Fort Logan National Cemetery is the final resting place for several notables:
Medal of Honor Recipients:
Major William E. Adams, (Vietnam) U.S. Army, A/227th Assault Helicopter Co., 52nd Aviation Battalion, 1st Aviation Brigade. Kontum Province, Republic of Vietnam, May 25, 1971 (Section P, Site 3831).
First Sergeant Maximo Yabes, (Vietnam) U.S. Army, Company A, 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division. Phu Hoa Dong, Republic of Vietnam, February 26, 1967 (Section R, Site 369).
Private John Davis, (Civil War) Company F, 17th Indiana Mounted Infantry. Culloden, Ga., April 1865 (Memorialized in Section MB, Site 280).
Other notables are:
Seven Buffalo Soldiers buried at Fort Logan National Cemetery.
Karl Baatz was a German POW who died while being held at Fort Logan and was interred in 1993 (Section POW, Site 14).
The father of music legend John Denver, Henry John Deutschendorf, Sr., who was an Air Force Instructor (Section S, Site 5118).
Richard H. Kindig who was a photographer known for documenting the rail transport industry of Colorado and the Rocky Mountains who passed away in 2008 (Seciton 14, Site 593).
Fitzroy Newsum who was an original member of the Tuskegee Airmen and Congressional Gold Medal recipient (Section 35, Site 501).
Karl H. Timmermann who was the first invading Allied officer to cross the Rhine river in World War II and was also the commanding officer of Company A 27th Armored Infantry Battalion which captured the Ludendorff bridge at Remagen, Germany (Section H, Site 195).
Arthur Harvey who was an oil pioneer and a veteran of both World War I and World War II (Section Q, Site 7142).
Fort Logan National Cemetery has 17 memorials that mostly commemorate soldiers of 20th century wars.
For More information of the cemetery (and the source of much of this information), please take a look at:
The warm, welcoming light of sunrise strafes the rolling hills of Fort Logan National Cemetery and highlights a flag standing askew at a grave marker during the morning hours on Saturday, May 25, 2013. The flag wouldn't stay that way for long with over 400 volunteers making their way across the the 214 acres of the cemetery in waves to plant or fix flags at every grave marker at the cemetery just a couple hours later. Each grave site received one flag as a part of the Memorial Day weekend activities including a service on Monday. On Tuesday the flags will be picked up by volunteers and stored for the next event.
Saturday I made a trip to Barr Lake State Park in Brighton, Colorado for a sunrise meetup that I was leading. I have noticed it is hard to get people to attend sunrise meetups. I assume this is because they generally start at 5am. Unfortunately that is when some of the best light (warm and some what soft) is available to photograph. It ended up being a friend and myself making the 3 mile hike from the parking lot to the gazebo and back. It was the second time I visited the park, and just like the first time, I found some photographs.
The gazebo area especially would be a great place for engagement photographs or a senior portrait session. The bugs were a bit crazy at times but maybe that's from the recent rain and snow we've had. The water level did appear higher this time compared to the last time I was there and there weren't very many bugs last time. I would think a little bit of bug spray would probably help keep them away during a photo session.
Once we were done with the hike, I headed home. I was tired from the morning activities, but decided to go back out in the afternoon. I filled myself with a little bit of caffeine and sugar and mozzied up to tthe Five Points Jazz Festival in Denver, Colorado. I think they need some better directions on their website or maybe a map. (Oh wait... I see they have one. <face palm to the forhead>) I drove around a bit in the area I thought the event was taking place and ended up catching a view of some artwork being added to the side of a building. Denver has a ton of buildings with artwork added to the sides. I love seeing the creativity covering what would otherwise be a dull side of a building.
Here are a couple more decorated buildings I saw during the festival.
And I found this one as I was leaving that I thought was intersting.
Once I made it to the event, the pay off was the great music, intersting people, interesting part of town and fun I had taking photos and talking with people. The jazz music filled the air with it coming from the shops and stages all around the 4 or 5 block area around the event. Everything from funk, classical, drums, and vocal could be heard wafting through the area depnding on the time of day.
One of the parts I really enjoyed was the open mic in one of the music shops. Performers would get up one by one or a couple at a time to fill in the main melody for a piece while the drums, bass and piano players played the meolody. There were some amazing performances. A few second bits of the performances I recorded can be seen in a video toward the end of this post. The performances also offered some great photos of interesting people.
Above is the sign on the door to the studio. Below is the great jazz pianist who played backup as well as performed some great solo pieces.
Overall the Five Points area of Denver really has some character to it and the added character of a jazz festival just made this a fun and easy self assignment to photograph. I think a meetup might be in order for the event next year or maybe just the area in the future. Here are a few more photos from the event as well as the video I spoke about.
I finished watching Nova's program on the meteor strike in Russia, and it always frustrates me when the science type shows start playing the what if card a little too much. Well what if it could have been a billion times worse and here is how it could have been worse if this and this and this had happened instead of what did happen.
Those what if games are frustratingly dumb. Anything could be worse than what did happen or anyting could be better than what did happen. We could play the what if game all day long and realize it is useless to play because it doesn't get us anywhere. But the program piled on with an Apollo 9 astronaut commenting about the world needing to know about all those earth killer and city killer asteroids potentially floating in space by likening our inability to see everything that might be out there with him uttering the statement, "Right now, to be honest with you, we are driving around the solar system without any insurance." Is that a bad thing? It is not like the meteor has good insurance coverage either.
I get wanting to know the potential future. Many of us would love to be clairvoyant and avoid all the nasty negative pitfalls in our daily lives, but our inability to see every potential threat leads humanity to having blind trust that life will go on day after day and get better. This is also known as having faith that the worst is not likely to happen, and that isn't always a bad thing. Faith seemed to work well for a few religions for a couple millennium.
Faith allows us to believe that the sun will rise tomorrow and that tomorrow will be better than today. Faith allows us to hope for a better future for ourselves and everyone around us. Faith allows us to believe that we won't be shot dead tomorrow by a married vegan gay couple from Texas who are toting assault rifles and are peeved about climate change.
Don't take me wrong... I get the need for science to answer questions and give us information to make lives better and improve the world and our lives. The answer to life, the universe and everything may or may not be 42, and I get we need to build that supercomputer world to figure out what the real question is. Asking questions is part of the path to finding answers, and answers are part of asking questions. I don't doubt that we need answers or questions or knowledge... but is there a point where information becomes pointless?
I'm not saying don't ask stupid questions. Heck, I might be doing that right now. But do questions also need a little bit of insight into knowing when asking those questions becomes pointless or the answer irrelevant?
If the entire world knew tomorrow that an Earth killer asteroid was headed our way in 1, 5 or 50 years.... what would be the result? I doubt we have the technology to put a dent in stopping it like in the movie Armageddon, so how should we live out the last few years? Should we live those years like there is no tomorrow? Or should we live them like we would if we were oblivious of the information that it would all be gone soon? Should we live how we would want to live regardless of that information?
Why not live whatever way we would have chosen with that knowledge right now? After all, what if the sun goes supernova tomorrow? Or what if an EMP pulse hits the planet killing every single unprotected piece of electrical equipment in the world? Or what if North Korea decides to nuke South Korea and Japan which then leads to the United States nuking North Korea which leads to this and this and this? We can play the what if game all day long. Do we really need all those what if's when one will suffice?
Why not stop that game and play the what is game instead and decide to live in reality instead of an alternative universe that doesn't exist. Live with the knowledge that tomorrow might be great or terrible. Live with the knowledge that constantly worrying about the what if's won't help us. Asking questions and finding answers can, but worrying about every what if out there is like an Apollo 9 astronaut worrying if a meteor has uninsured motorist coverage. Pointless because either way there isn't a Milky Way Police Department that will issue a citation for whoever was at fault.
My first Denver St. Patrick's Day parade. I have to say I miss the parade and events from Dublin, Ohio which does the whole thing very well. Denver's parade was about 4 hours long and the participants really started getting father and father spread out towards the end. Loved it though. Enjoyed the day and meeting the people I spoke to. Here's some photos. I also recorded some audio so I'm going to try and put some audio with it, but I wanted to get these up before the weekend was over.