Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Last Field Trip of the Year

Today was our last day of school for the year, and yesterday we went on our last field trip for the year. We went to Fort Indiantown Gap and toured the historical sites and monuments as well as the National Cemetery. We saw some really cool things, learned some great Pennsylvania history and really enjoyed the day. The morning was quite overcast and so we began our tour with the Pennsylvania National Guard Military Museum, and by the time we finished there and took a lunch break, the sun was shining.

This was probably our favorite of the monuments. Below you can read about the symbolism that is exhibited in this monument. It has tremendous meaning. I hope you can read it or maybe it will enlarge if you click on it so you can read it.

In this photo, you can see, through one of the holes in the monument, some of the dog tags hanging on a chain in the middle of the monument. (Yes, for those of you who read my Cozy Comforts blog, this is the photo that I was so determined to capture).

We saw some wonderful things in the museum. In this photo is the medal of valor. The man at the museum said that not many people get to see one of these in person, so being able to see this one at the museum was really special.

This is an old telephone switchboard. It reminded me of "The Waltons".

A. (Anthony) J. Drexler Biddle is a very prominent military figure. He moved all the way to the rank of "Adjutant General", and he won many important awards and medals. In the bottom section of this photo, on the left, he is shaking hands with Dwight D. Eisenhower, and in the photo on the right, he is sitting beside a portrait that Dwight D. Eisenhower painted of him. We were hoping to purchase a book about General Biddle to learn more but the man at the museum said that no one has ever written one. (So now my Anthony is thinking about trying to do so.)

This is a photo of a display of dark blue stars on a cloth. Factories would hang these outside of their factories and each star represented one of their employees who had gone to fight in the military. Private homes would display one as well with a dark blue star for each family member who had gone off to fight. If the person was killed in duty, a gold star was sewn over the dark blue star (the gold representing the honor due that person for their sacrifice).

This is a photo of a few things that were in the only case that displayed some things from the war with Germany. If you look at the gun, you will see a small shell casing lying on the gun and right in front of the shell casing is a bullet hole. When this gun was found, the empty shell casing was found still lodged inside the gun, and the bullet hole was from someone shooting the gun, and it had to have been shot at the exact time the person with this gun had squeezed his trigger, in order for the empty shell casing to remain lodged inside the gun.

This is a photo of a banner and the photo below explains what this banner is.

This case displays some of the things brought back from Afghanistan by a soldier.

This tank is outside the museum.

The two photos above show and tell of the history of the photo below.

We also saw some displays at the Muir Army Air Field.

This airplane's wing span is so wide that even with my wide angle lens I couldn't get the whole thing in the photo.

The Muir Army Air Field is used for helicopters and we saw lots of helicopters take off, land and fly some flight patterns.

We also saw lots of soldiers -- some on foot, some in land vehicles, and some in the helicopters.

This is A. J. Drexel Biddle Hall, dedicated in honor of General Biddle, whom I mentioned and showed some photos farther above. It was the Red Cross building during World War II.

This is the Murray School which was used from 1850 to 1944.

We also saw a small chapel, which was one of nine chapels in use during World War II.

As you drive in through the entrance of the National Cemetary, you see many, many flags.

There are quite a few Pennsylvania flags and many, many United States flags. There are also large flags, one for each state of the United States.

While we were at the National Cemetery, we spent most of our time there at the Pennsylvania Veteran's Memorial. The photo below shows a stone dedicated to several military people, and there were many of these stones flat in the ground throughout the cemetery.

The Pennsylvania Veteran's Memorial

There are six of these plaques in the Pennsylvania Veteran's Memorial.

There are four fountains in the center of the PA Veteran's Memorial. I took this photo standing nearest the longest of the four. Each of the four was a different size and they were in order from smallest to largest.

These plaques were in a single row all around the tops of the walls inside the PA Veteran's Memorial. There were also plaques like this in the floor on the entrance ramp to the memorial.

Family members place flowers on graves in the grass outside of the memorial.

The boys really enjoyed this field trip, and the little one especially liked all of the helicopters. It was a good and very meaningful field trip. Oh, yeah, and it was FREE. There was a donation jar in the museum but no admission fee.

No comments:

Post a Comment