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Friday, October 28, 2005

Aloha, Hawaii

Diamond Head and Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii

Well, this afternoon I head back to New England. Ugh. Going from 85 degrees and sunny to 40-ish with snow having fallen this week. Double Ugh.

Nice trip - I didn't get a whole lot of time to explore, but Pearl Harbor in itself was worth the trip. Definitely going to have to get back here one of these days.

Wish me a safe flight home. Tomorrow's blog may be up a little later than usual - I won't be home until about lunchtime....

Guatemalan International Air Show

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala -- A C-130 Hercules aircrew from the Puerto Rico Air National Guard watch as the Thunderbirds streak by during the Guatemalan International Air Show 2005. The C-130 was part of the U.S Air Force team supporting the show. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Lohr)

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala -- A young Guatemalan boy places his hand over his heart during the playing of the national anthem. The Guatemalan International Air Show 2005 took place Oct. 26. Thirteen U.S Air Force aircraft and more than 150 Airmen supported the show. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Lohr)

Happy Birthday to the Statue of Liberty!

"We will not forget that Liberty has here made her home;
nor shall her chosen altar be neglected."
-- President Grover Cleveland,
at the dedication of the Statue of Liberty

Sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi was commissioned to design her. The Statue of Liberty was supposed to be completed in 1876, in time for the centennial celebration, but it didn't turn out that way.

The Americans were going to build the pedestal - the French would build the Statue. Both countries ran into fundraising problems, running various events (entertainment, a lottery, and public fees in France; theatrical events, auctions, prize fights, and art exhibits in the U.S.) to raise the necessary monies. In the U.S., Joseph Pulitzer, for whom the Pulitzer Prize is named, used his newspaper editorial pages to rebuke the rich and the middle class for failing to support the construction costs. It worked.

The design was unique - a colossal copper sculpture. Bartholdi recruited Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, famous for his namesake tower, to address structural issues. His solution was a massive iron pylon, and a skeletal framework, to allow the copper skin to move independenly while she stood upright (originally, it was thought that she would be filled with sand for stability). The name of the great statue was "Liberty Enlightening the World."

She was transported on the French frigate Isere, in 350 individual pieces. She was placed on her pedestal inside the star-shaped walls of Fort Wood, and dedicated in 1886 in front of thousands.

Her island has been managed by various groups - among them the U.S. Lighthouse Board and the War Department. She was declared a National Monument in 1924, and in 1933 responsibility for her care fell to the National Park Service.

In 1956, Bedloe's Island, on which she stood, was renamed Liberty Island. Ellis Island became part of the Monument in 1965.

After almost 100 years of standing watch over New York Harbor, the massive statue required significant restoration; Ronald Reagan was the impetus behind the most successful public/private partnership in U.S. history. He appointed Lee Iaccoca to raise the necessary funds, $87 million.

The United Nations named her as a World Heritage site in 1984, when her restoration began.

She reopened during Liberty Weekend on July 5, 1986.

After a century of serving as the symbol of freedom, and greeting countless hopeful immigrants, the Statue also witnessed one of her country's darkest days. One of the most poignant pictures of Manhattan on 9/11 was the site of her silouetted against thick, black smoke. She remained proud, defiant, and unafraid, a metaphor for the indomitable American spirit - standing tall even in the wake of profound adversity. On that dark day, National Park Service employees and dozens of area emergency personnel set up a triage center on Ellis Island.

Her Island was closed for 100 days; she was closed until August of last year. Now, visitors can explore her pedestal observation deck and lower promenade levels - by guided tour. They can also explore the museum and Fort Wood. More than 5 million people visit her yearly.

But the trip that I made as a gradeschool student, the long climb to the top, is a thing of the past, a casualty of the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history.

Statue of Liberty Facts:

Height: 151 feet, 1 inch, from the top of her base to her torch. From the ground to her torch, she is 305 feet, one inch tall. She is 111 feet, 1 inch, from her heel to the top of her head.

Her hand is 16 feet, 5 inches; her index finger 8' even.

Her right arm is 42' long and 12' thick.

The tablet she holds is 23' 7" x 13'7" x 2'
Inscribed on it, in Roman numerals, is a date - July 4, 1776

She is constructed of 31 tons of copper sheeting 3/32 of a inch thick, and 125 tons of steel. Her pedestal weighs in at a whopping 27,000 tons.

The 25 windows in her crown symbolize gemstones of Earth and heaven's rays shining down on the world.

Although she appears to stand perfectly still, she does move in the wind - she sways 3" in a 50-mph wind. Her torch has a 5" sway.

Statue of Liberty Replicas:

France has several - a 1/4 size replica stands in the Seine, on the Ile des Cygnes (Island of Swans). Her gaze is turned towards her larger sister in New York.

Another copy stood in Bordeaux, France, until the Nazis melted her down in what is an eerily symbolic gesture. In the year 2000, the replica was replaced - and vandalized - cracking placque that honored the victims of September 11th.

Still another replica stands in Barentin, in northwest France - that one was originally designed for a movie.

And one stands in Colmar, France - the birthplace of her designer, Bartholdi.

A 1/2 size replica stands at the New York-New York Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Hanoi, of all places, boasted a copy that stood 2.85 meters tall, from 1887 to 1945, when she was toppled, seen as a symbol of the French colonization.

At the Heidepark Soltau German theme park, a 35 meter replica guards a lake that boasts Mississipi steamboats.

During the Tiananmen Square protest in 1989, Chinese students built a replica they called the Goddess of Democracy to symbolize their struggle.

Various copies have also been displayed in the U.S. (at the Liberty Warehouse, the Met Museum, in Sioux Falls, S.D., and donated by the Boy Scouts of America to various towns), and in Japan, Norway, and Kosovo.

For more information, visit:
The National Park Service - The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

The New Colossus

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

-- Emma Lazarus
SCHOOL VISIT — U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Timothy J. Giardino, Office Security Cooperation-Afghanistan, helps find the correct size shoes for a special needs student as he participates in a visit to a local school in Kabul, Afghanistan, to hand out school supplies and toys, Oct. 23, 2005. Materials were supplied to the school from donations from the United States. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Benjamin T. Donde

In Today's News - Friday, October 28, 2005

Quote of the Day
"The United States is like a giant boiler.
Once the fire is lighted under it,
there is no limit to the power it can generate."
-- Winston Churchill

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Al Sadr Militia, Sunnis Clash

Homeland Security / War on Terror
Stealth Bomber Engineer Sold Military Secrets, FBI Says
Fired Prof Offers No Defense in Terror Support Case
London Police Defend Use of Force

Hurricane Season
Bush Views Wilma's Wrath
More Relief Promised for Florida
Island Evacuates Before Beta
Cuba to Allow U.S. Aid Officials to Visit
Hospital workers subpoeaned in euthanasia investigation in New Orleans

Pakistan Earthquake
Tetanus Kills 22 in Pakistan Quake Area

Report: Libby Expected to be Indicted Friday
CIA Leak News Coming Friday
New DeLay Probe Subpoenas

Supreme Court
Guessing Game

U.N. News
U.N.: 2,200 Companies Paid Saddam Oil-for-Food Bribes
Raw Data: Full Report(pdf)
Israel Wants Iran Expelled From U.N.

Missing U.S. cat found -- in France
Handsome men have edge in election wins: study
Dads may be able to keep babies behind bars

Other News of Note
Iran's call to wipe out Israel roundly condemned
Well sort of "roundly" condemned...check the next headline out
Arab States Mum on Iran's Israel Remarks
Body hanging from tree mistaken for Halloween decoration (This is horrible)
Woman fired after seeing husband off to war (Nice, folks. Real nice - she said, voice dripping sarcasm)
Navy: Japan to open door to nuclear sub

Fox News
Mother of Teen Suspect in Vitale Murder Arrested
Ex-U.N. Ambassador Slams Christian Influence in GOP
Lawmakers Want Rosa Parks to Lie in Honor at Capitol
Exxon Mobil Posts Top U.S. Corporate Profit Ever at $9.9B
Gaza Airstrike Kills Seven
Microsoft's Profits Rise

Reuters: Top News
Israel kills 7 in strike on Gaza militants
Navy says it will base nuclear carrier in Japan
N.Korean diplomat sets out tough nuclear position
Bush to look to Roberts model in new court pick
PICTURES: Strike On Gaza Militants
Maradona tells Cuba he'll lead anti-Bush march
India, Pakistan to meet on Kashmir amid UN concern
Senate OKs $8 bln to fight bird flu
Florida bill aims to curb violent video game sales
All TV digital by end of 2008: panel
Japan wants all nations in post-Kyoto deal
Mediterranean to suffer most in Europe due warming
WHO urges protective clothing for poultry workers
Air pollution tied to increased risk of strokes
Roche withholds Tamiflu in U.S. to stop hoarding
West must become smarter in use of force: general
Capitalist reforms come slowly to Communist N.Korea
Dubai's man-made islands anger environmentalists

AP World News
China's President Heads to North Korea
Vatican Celebrates Outreach to Jews
Lebanese Troops Block Smuggling Routes
Changes to Syria Draft Resolution Sought
Vatican Seeks Diplomatic Ties With Russia
Plan to Relocate U.S. Okinawa Base Opposed

The Seattle Times
New oil drilling passes House panel
Syria looking over its shoulder
Harrowing days lost at sea for U.S. divers in Belize
U.S. issues new warning on Indonesia travel

Chicago Sun-Times
House rejects effort to stop base closings
Ex-Prime Minister Allawi contests key vote
Al-Sistani yet to endorse Shiite coalition
Kerry Calls for Troop Withdrawal (jackass)
Two U.S. Soldiers Killed by Insurgents
Sandbox Training not Child's Play
Chertoff Orders Supplies to Wilma Victims
Military Base Closings Seem Imminent

CENTCOM: News Releases

Department of Defense
Iraq Reconstruction Effort Moves Forward — Story
Top Intel Official Releases Strategy Blueprint — Story
Gitmo Visit Impresses Medical Professionals — Story

EC-130s Support Ground Units in Afghanistan — Story
UXO Disposal Reclaims Land, Saves Lives — Story
Departing Troops' Legacy: Patrols, IED Finds — Story
WWII Tuskeegee Airmen Vist Troops in Iraq — Story

Marines Keep Al Asad Flightline Gear Ready
Project to Provide Potable Water, Hydrants
U.S. Troops Stay in Background During Vote
Deployed Soldiers Talk to Richmond Via Satellite
Iraqi, U.S. Soldiers Aid Terrorist Attack Victims

Army's Top Sergeant Advises Afghan NCOs
Paratroopers Adapt, Afghan Mission Succeeds Photos

Sox World Series Surprises Soldier Home from Iraq — Story

Navy, NYPD Honor Returning Vets — Story

Hurricane Coverage
Iraq Transition of Power

Hotel Targeted for Media Value
3 Troops Killed; Raids Kill Terrorists
Iraq-Iran Border Crossing Complete
Football Game to Benefit Children
Al Qaeda Facilitator Likely Killed
Baghdad Firefight Kills Terrorists
Voters Say 'Yes' to New Constitution
Iraq Reconstruction
Iraq Daily Update
Multinational Force Iraq
Eye on Iraq Update (pdf)
Iraq Progress Fact Sheet (pdf)
Weekly Progress Report (pdf)

Afghans Help Earthquake Victims
Afghan Police Complete Course
Afghanistan Daily Update

'Overmatch': Watchword for Future
Bush: Terrorism Danger to All
Terrorists, Sponsors: No Distinction
Info Vital in Terror War, Pace Says
Waging and Winning the War on Terror
Terrorism Timeline
Terrorism Knowledge Base

Pod Gives Strike Eagles an Edge
Bush: Troops Rely on Families
Personnel Regs Sent to Congress
Plan Addresses Troop Pay Issues
Joint Fires Team Coordinates Ops
National Guard, Reserve Update

Al Azamiyah Al Basrah Al Hillah Al Karkh Al Kazimiyah Al Kut An Nasiriyah Baghdad Baqubah Mosul Najaf Nineveh Tall Kayf

Bost/Laskar Ghurian Herat Kabul Qandahar


National Hurricane Center

Today in History
1492 - Christopher Columbus discovers Cuba.
1636 - Harvard University is established.
1776 - Battle of White Plains; Washington retreats to NJ.
1790 - New York gives up its claims to Vermont for $30,000.
1793 - Eli Whitney applies for a patent on the cotton gin.
1886 - The Statue of Liberty is dedicated by President Grover Cleveland; the celebration includes the first ticker tape parade in NYC.
1891 - An earthquake strikes Mino-Owari, Japan, killing 7,300.
1904 - St. Louis police try out a new investigation technique - fingerprints.
1918 - Czechoslovakia gains independence as Austria-Hungary breaks up.
1919 - Congress passes the Volstead Act, beginning prohibition over Wilson's veto.
1922 - For the first time, a football game is broadcast coast-to-coast radio broadcast of a football game; Benito Mussolini takes control of Italy's government
1929 - Miami, FL, is the site of the first childbirth in an aircraft.
1936 - FDR rededicates the Statue of Liberty on its 50th anniversary.
1940 - Greece successfully resists Italy's attack.
1946 - German rocket engineers begin work in the U.S.S.R.
1948 - The Flag of Israel is adopted.
1958 - Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli is elected Pope, taking the name John XXIII.
1962 - Khrushchev orders the withdrawal of missiles from Cuba, ending the Cuban Missile Crisis.
1965 - Pope Paul VI proclaims Jews not collectively guilty for Jesus' crucifixion.
1970 - The U.S. and U.S.S.R. sign an agreement to discuss joint space efforts.
1971 - England becomes the sixth nation to have a satellite in orbit (Prospero).
1981 - Edward M. McIntrye becomes the first Black mayor of Augusta, Georgia.
1982 - NASA launches RCA-E.

- Henry III, Holy Roman emperor (1046-56)
1810 - Brigadier General Adley H. Gladden (killed at Shiloh)
1842 - Anna Elizabeth Dickinson, orator ("Joan of Arc of the Civil War")
1846 - Auguste Escoffier, king of chefs and chef of kings
1914 - Dr. Jonas Salk, medical researcher, developer of the polio vaccine
1936 - Charlie Daniels, country music star (Devil Went Down to Georgia) / supporter of the troops
1940 - Gennadi M. Strekalov, cosmonaut (Soyuz T-3, T-8, T-11)
1949 - Bruce Jenner, decathalete (Olympic-gold-1976)
1955 - Bill Gates, billionaire CEO (Microsoft)
1959 - Walther Bauersfeld 1919 inventor (first modern projection planetarium)
1963 - Veronica Gamba, Playboy playmate (November, 1983)

- Alfred the Great, English monarch
1957 - Anthony J. Morabito, co-owner of San Francisco 49ers, while watching a game

Reported Missing in Action
Kirk, Thomas H., USAF (VA); F105D shot down, released by DRV March, 1973 - retired as a Colonel - alive and well 1998

Connor, Charles R., USMC (UT); TA4F disappeared over water while on Tactical Airborne Control mission (pilot, w/Ricker)

Ricker, William E., USNR (OR); TA4F disappeared over water while on Tactical Airborne Control mission (co-pilot, w/Connor)

Stonebraker, Kenneth A., USAF (IN); RF4C disappeared during photo-reconnaissance mission (navigator, w/ Stroven)

Stroven, William H., USAF (MI); RF4C disappeared during photo-reconnaissance mission

Hall, James W., USN (CA); A7C shot down, remains returned March, 2000