Saturday, May 9, 2015

70 Years Later, A Ghost World War II Air Show Over Washington and Some Saturday Afternoon Reflections, Real and Imagined

**This entry was posted May 9th, 2015.**

Two World War II-era planes flying in formation in the sunny blue sky over L'Enfant Plaza, Washington, D.C., 12:43PM May 8, 2015.

No, I can't identify the type(s), and, yes, I'm sorry for the low-quality image with my cheap flip-open cellphone camera.

These were part of a series of aging World War II-era planes -- described in this WaHoPo article as including B-17 Flying Fortresses, B-24 Liberators, P-51 Mustangs, Lightnings, Corsairs, and Avenger -- that flew over the National Mall and downtown Washington, D.C., yesterday in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of V-E Day.

More WWII-era planes flying in formation over Washington, D.C., 12:48PM May 8, 2015.

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There were literally thousands of people watching this all over downtown D.C. It looked as though all the L'Enfant Plaza office drones (no pun intended) had left their cubicles (even the 400-pounders) to watch it and mixed with the seasonally ubiquitous tourists. World War II is still our "good war."

Needless to say, there aren't too many WWII vets left these days, and those that are still around are quite old with not much time remaining.

As for me, having been raised for a time by my grandparents and their generation for whom WWII was simply part of their lives, I've always felt a strong affinity for that time period. Indeed, I have this whole alternative fantasy life about that (and it is just that -- a fantasy), but I'm not going to get into that now.

The short version goes like this: I was born on a farm in Iowa in 1921, youngest of six. I was killed in battle in the South Pacific in 1943 (and was apparently reincarnated into this shitty early 21st Century reality). Was I gay in that life? Well, yes, to the extent possible and with a few good experiences under the tremendously starry skies of the tropical South Pacific.

See, I told you: A fantasy. Besides, being killed in any war is nothing to romanticize in any way.

Wounded soldier and medic, Tanapag, on the island of Saipan, June 1, 1944.

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The Milky Way as seen from Mangaia (A'ua'u Enua), Cook Islands. Source image here.

The Milky Way isn't just the center of our (barred spiral) galaxy, but it is also probably the next set of spiral arms "in" toward the center. This includes the Carina-Sagittarius, Scutum-Centaurus (also called the Crux-Scutum), and Norma arms as well as the central galactic "bar" itself.

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I guess 70 years from now, we'll have little drones flying over downtown Washington commemorating the "War On Terror and Evil-Doers" and they'll be pictures of George W. Bush, various neo-con chicken-hawk warmongers, "Deep State" surveillance icons, and Benji "YAY! DRONES!" Wittes.

Sorry. This is not a political-themed entry.

Indeed, this is a replacement entry for an entry that I started writing but that quickly spiraled out of control in terms of length, complexity, etc., so I am temporarily abandoning it, especially if I want to get my day started. I'll try to return to it later this evening along with posting a jukebox Saturday night entry. However, posting a lengthy and complex entry this weekend is problematic for reasons I discuss in that possible posting.

The morning view at 8:15AM today from a room at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina in Cambridge, Md., where my mom and Ray are staying this weekend.

They went there (courtesy a present from her former place of employment) for Ray's 68th birthday yesterday, which happens to coincide with V-E Day. In the 40+ years Ray has been in my life, somehow I never realized that / made that connection. Ray is a Vietnam Vet. And continuing with the war memorial theme, they attended a ceremony at a World War I memorial this morning in Cambridge.

A small beach along the Choptank River at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf, Resort, Spa and Marina, 1:25PM May 9, 2015.

This is another picture that she me.

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Apropos of nothing, or rather, apropos because of the connection to Cambridge, Maryland, Bea Arthur actually grew up there in the 1930s. And she was a truck-driving Marine during World War II. I find that an awesome fact. (On a personal note, I'm not a fan of the Eastern Shore except the actual seashore.)

And with that, I'll sign off for now.

--Regulus

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