Memorial Day Remembrances

USS Lexington in Corpus Christi, TX

The USS Lexington pictured above is now a museum in Corpus Christi, TX.  Also known as “The Blue Ghost”, it was built in WWII, decommissioned after the war, brought into active service again in the ’50s, and finally decommissioned permanently in 1991.  This carrier has a storied history but I’ll leave it to other websites to tell that — they do a better job than I would.  I thought it appropriate to post this image now to extend our Memorial Day remembrance a few days longer.

As I’ve mentioned before, I really appreciate those who serve in our military, particularly those who give the ultimate sacrifice of their life for our continued freedom.  Whenever I have opportunity I try to thank soldiers for their service.  As recently as last week I ran across a soldier in the Guard (at the auto repair shop) and made a point to engage in conversation and thank him for serving.

Over the Memorial Day weekend our family hosted several young men who had just completed school with our son Evan.  They hailed from Colorado, Maine, Illinois, North Carolina, and Maryland and had recently completed training in fields such as paramedic, law enforcement, and all sorts of rescue-type operations (my son just completed the paramedic school).  While in school many of them were in a men’s chorus and one of the songs in their repertoire was “The Mansions of the Lord” which you’ve heard if you’ve seen the movie We Were Soldiers.

On Memorial Day we visited the Texas Capitol and one of our group convinced the young men (six of them) to sing this song in the rotunda.  As they began the song — “To fallen soldiers let us sing…” — a hush fell on the crowd, people stopped and pointed their video cameras, and the sound of men’s voices filled the rotunda (which is acoustically awesome).  As they finished the audience broke out in applause and my hope is that they were thinking not just about the young men in front of them but also about the “fallen soldiers” about which they sang.  I’d love to post a picture of the singing but I didn’t have a camera — I left my “real” camera at home (so I didn’t spend our visit looking through a viewfinder) and my iPhone was being used by the guys for the song lyrics.

As for the USS Lexington image, it was generated by using Photomatix to fuse (not tonemap) 3 exposures that I snapped a month or two ago while at the coast for the Wings Over South Texas airshow.  A bit of noise reduction and contrast to top it off and I was done.


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