Highlights of Trip Included Learning About John Marshall

This past week while visiting my daughter and her family in Arlington, Va., I had the opportunity to choose a number of attractions in the Arlington/D.C. area to visit.

From previous baseball trips, we had been up close to these attractions, but not to actually go through them. This time we were able to visit the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, one of the 11 Smithsonian Museums — The National Air Space Museum; and the John C. McKinney Memorial Stables for caisson horses.

We found out that the area is extremely congested for traffic so the best way to get around is by the metro system of bus and rail. As we got better in learning which metro rail to take, we started out Shirlington, Va., purchasing a senior smart trip card which enabled us to go round trip on a a metro bus to the Pentagon, where we got on the metro rail which took us to the Archives station, and from there we walked a few blocks to the National Mall, where the National Air Space Museum is located.

It was on way the back to the metro, along Pennsylvania Avenue, that I saw a banner which read: Chief Justice John Marshall.

Reading further the banner states: “A bronze likeness of Chief Justice John Marshall is visible on your next Heritage Trial sign which keeps watch over John Marshall Park to your right.”

Marshall is remembered for molding the U.S. Supreme Court into today’s authoritative body. Appointed by President John Adams, Marshall served a record 34 years until his death in 1835. He participated in more than 1,000 decisions on the court, including the 1803 Marbury vs. Madison, which defined the court’s authority to declaire unconstitutional laws passed by Congress.

John Marshall Park replaced John Marshall Place (originally 4 1/2 Street), a few blocks of small shops and law offices that once linked Washington’s first Call Hall/Courthouse with Pennsylvania Avenue.

Of course, Marshall County and John Marshall High School are named for John Marshall.

On our visits to Arlington National Cemetery and to the Memorial Stables, we were fortunate to have car transportation, making it a lot easier to get around.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is guarded 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and in any weather by Tomb Guard sentinels

Sentinels, all volunteers, are considered to be the best of the elite 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), headquarted at Ft. Myer, Va.

The changing of the guard is an elaborate ritual which takes place in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arlington National Cemetery.

The guard is changed every hour on the hour (Oct. 1 to March 31), and every 30 minutes (from April 1 through Sept. 30).

The changing of the guard takes place when a uniformed relief commander appears on the plaza to announce that the changing of the guard will be taking place. Soon after the new sentinel leaves the Quarters and unlocks the bolt of his or her M-14 rifle to signal to the relief commander to start the ceremony. The relief commander walks out to the tomb and salutes, then faces the spectators and asks them to stand andstay silent, with civilians to put their hand over their heart, and those in uniform to salute during the ceremony.

The relief commander conducts a detailed white-glove inspection of the weapon, each part of the rifle once. Then, the relief commander and the relieving sentinel meet the retiring sentinel at the center of the mat in front of the tomb. All three salute the Unknowns who who have been symbolically given the Medal of Honor. Then, the relief commander orders the relief sentinel, “Pass on your orders.” The current sentinel commands, “Post and orders, remain as directed.” The relief sentinel replies, “Orders acknowledged,” and steps into the position on a black mat. When the relief commander passes by, the new sentinel begins walking at a cadence of 90 steps per minute.

The Tomb Guard marches 21 steps down the black mat behind the tomb, turns, faces east for 21 seconds, turns and faces north for 21 seconds, and then takes 21 steps down the mat and repeats the process. After the turn, the sentinel executes a sharp “shoulder-arms” movement to place the weapon on the shoulder closest to the visitors to signify that the sentinel stands between the tomb and any possible threat. Twenty-one was chosen because it symbolizes the highest military honor that can be bestowed — 21-gun salute.

The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum maintains the largest collection of historic air and spacecraft in the world. The museum features 22 exhibition galleries, displaying hundreds of artifacts including the original Wright 1903 Flyer, the “Spirit of St. Louis” and the Apollo 11 command module. It is described as the most visited museum in the world and appeals to all ages.

The museum completed an extensive renovation of its main hall, “Milestones of Flight” in 2016. The expanded exhibition traces the interconnected stories of the world’s most significant aircraft and spacecraft, with digital displays and a mobile experience in a new design that stretches from one entrance to the other. The square footage of the exhibition was enlarged, and the displays take full advantage of the atrium’s two-story height. New icons on displays include the huge Apollo Lunar Module, the Telstar satellite and the model of the “Starship Enterprise” used in the “Star Trek” television series.

Other attractions for visitors at the museum are: riding in several 4-minute flight simulators; take a journey through space or to natural and manmade orders of the world at the Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater; watch a film projected on a five-story-high screen with six-channel digital surround sound.

The National Air and Space Museum continues to develop new exhibits on the history, science and technology of aviation and space flight. The museum is also a center for research and provides guided tours, educational programs and school group activities.

There were numerous school groups in attendance on the day we were there.

Military personnel of the the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment are assigned to caring for the caisson horses which arehoused at both Fort Myer and Fort Belvoir, and the day we visited the stables the CQ was also a farrier and he was getting ready to shoe one of the horses, but took time out to give us a guided tour which included giving the animals food.

He pointed out the different jobs which farriers for a particular day must do in carrying for the horses.

There are always 60 caisson horses, 40 stabled at Ft. Myer and 20 stabled at Ft. Belvoir. Generally there are eight full honor funerals each day, splitting the two riding teams for a total of four funerals per day for each team.

These caisson horses are rotated and rest between missions. They work a two-week shift of cemetery duty. After that two weeks they are given R&R at Ft. Belvoir, another 20 of the rested caisson horses are brought to Ft. Myer for their two week duty.

It was pointed out that their mission is physically and psychologically demanding.

The caisson horses must learn to override their instincts and work as partners both with other horses and persons. Bonding between horses and man needs to be a part of this honor, thus it takes constant practice and precision.

Originally the caissons had ammunition chests, space wheels and tools, but they have been replaced with a flat deck on which the caskets rests.

The former Fostoria Glass site in Moundsville has changed somewhat in the past week as the empty grounds now house several types of materials and machinery.

The property is owned by GAB Enterprises LLC/, whose address is on Sandy Drive in Powhatan Point.

There are four deeds filed at the Marshall County Courthouse pertaining to the property between the Building Commission of the city of Moundsville, the grantor and GAB Enterprises LLC, a West Virginia Limited Liability Company, the grantee. These deeds list the acreage of each parcel and the boundaries of the property. The city of Moundsville’s Business Commission conveyed 8.24 acres to GAB Enterprise.

The dates of the deed filings were Oct. 8, 2009, Jan. 3, 2012, Aug. 13, 2012 (a deed of correction) and Sept. 18-2012.

I have been informed that one of the issues on the agenda of the Marshall County Historical Society at its meeting on Monday at the Moundsville-Marshall County Public Library will be the two small buildings on the grounds of the Grave Creek Mound Complex.

These two structures haven’t been used for some time and thus the roofs have collapsed, and trees have grown up through the what was the roofs. The MCHS would like to see new roofs placed on the buildings.

I do know that the Moundsville Landmarks Commission also discussed these buildings at a meeting this past week and that group also would like to see these building restored. The buildings have the same type of bricks as the former West Virginia Penitentiary.

As to the buildings themselves, one was a inmate gift shop/museum when the prison was still in existence, while the other was a restroom for visitors to the Grave Creek Mound.

While on the subject of the Grave Creek Mound, hopefully, soon the two cabinets for displays of both Fostoria glass ware and Marx Toys will be arriving.

Stopped by the Four Seasons Pool this past week and learned that things are going smoothly in preparation for the re-opening.

On that particular day, some workmen were removing the old dehumidifier while others were engaged in painting the interior of the building. The pool has already been re-painted.

Yet to be done is the wiring of the new dehumidifier and painting of the locker rooms.

No date has been set for the re-opening.

Now that the pool is just a few weeks from re-opening hopefully no other issues will be rought forward pertaining to the facility.

A reminder!

The Moundsville Lions Club will be sponsoring a Spring Fling Spaghetti Dinner from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. Friday at the First Presbyterian Church, with proceeds to be used for the purchase of eye examinations and eye glasses for needy individuals.

The public is invited, and tickets will be available at the door.

This past week while visiting my daughter and her family in Arlington, Va., I had the opportunity to choose a number of attractions in the Arlington/D.C. area to visit.

From previous baseball trips we had been up close to these attractions, but not to actually go through them. This time we were able to visit the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, one of the 11 Smithsonian Museums — The National Air Space Museum; and the John C. McKinney Memorial Stables for caisson horses.

We found out that the area is extremely congested for traffic so the best way to get around is by the metro system of bus and rail. As we got better in learning which metro rail to take we started out Shirlington, Va., purchasing a senior smart trip card which enabled us to go round trip on a a metro bus to the Pentagon, where we got on the metro rail which took us to the National Archives station, and from there we walked a few blocks to the National Mall, where the National Air Space is located.

It was on the way back to the metro, along Pennsylvania Avenue, that I saw a banner which read: Chief Justice John Marshall.

Reading further, the banner states: “A bronze likeness of Chief Justice John Marshall, is visable on your next Heritage Trial sign which keeps watch over John Marshall Park to your right.”

Marshall is remembered for molding the U.S. Supreme Court into today’s authoritative body. Appointed by President John Adams, Marshall served a record 34 years until his death in 1835. He participated in more than 1,000 decisions on the court, including the 1803 Marbury vs. Madison, which defined the court’s authority to declaire unconstitutional laws passed by Congress.

John Marshall Park replaced John Marshall Place (originally 4 1/2 Street), a few blocks of small shops and law offices that once linked Washington’s first CityHall/Courthouse with Pennsylvania Avenue.

Of course, Marshall County is named for John Marshall and so is John Marshall High School.

On our visits to Arlington National Cemetery and to the Memorial Stables, we were fortunate to be able to have car transportation, making it a lot easier to get around..

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is guarded 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and in any weather by Tomb Guard sentinels

Sentinels, all volunteers, are considered to be the best of the elite 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), headquarted at Ft. Myer, Va.

The changing of the guard is an elaborate ritual which takes place in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arlington National Cemetery.

The guard is changed every hour on the hour (Oct. 1 to March 31), and every 30 minutes (from April 1 through Sept. 30).

The changing of the guard takes place when a uniformed relief commander appears on the plaza to announce that the changing of the guard will be taking place. Soon after, the new sentinel leaves the quarters and unlocks the bolt of his or her M-14 rifle to signal to the relief commander to start the ceremony. The relief commander walks out to the tomb and salutes, then faces the spectators and asks them to stand, stay silent, with civilians to put their hands over their hearts, and those in uniform to salute during the ceremony.

The relief commander conducts a detailed white-glove inspection of the weapon, each part of the rifle once. Then, the relief commander and the relieving sentinel meet the retiring sentinel at the center of the mat in front of the tomb. All three salute the unknowns who who have been symbolically given the Medal of Honor.

Then the relief commander orders the relief sentinel, “Pass on your orders.” The current sentinel commands, “Post and orders, remain as directed.” The relief sentinel replies, “Orders acknowledged,”and steps into the position on a black mat. When the relief commander passes by, the new sentinel begins walking at a cadence of 90 steps per minute.

The tomb guard marches 21 steps down the black mat behind the tomb, turns, faces east for 21 seconds, turn and faces north for 21 seconds, and then takes 21 steps down the mat and repeats the process. After the turn, the sentinel executes a sharp “shoulder-arms” movement to place the weapon on the shoulder closest to the visitors, to signify that the sentinel stands between the tomb and any possible threat. Twenty-one was chosen because it symbolizes the highest military honor that can be bestowed — a 21-gun salute.

The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum maintains the largest collection of historic air and spacecraft in the world. The museum features 22 exhibition galleries, displaying hundreds of artifacts including the original Wright 1903 Flyer, the “Spirit of St. Louis” and the Apollo 11 command module. It is described as the most visited museum in the world and appeals to all ages.

The museum completed an extensive renovation of its main hall, “Milestones of Flight,”in 2016. The expanded exhibition traces the interconnected stories of the world’s most significant aircraft and spacecraft, with digital displays and a mobile experience in a new design that stretches from one entrance to the other. The square footage of the exhibition was enlarged, and the displays take full advantage of the atrium’s two-story height. New icons on displays include the huge Apollo Lunar Module, the Telstar satellite and the model of the “Starship Enterprise” used in the “Star Trek” television series.

Other attractions for visitors at the museum include: riding in several 4-minute flight simulators; taking a simulated journey through space or to natural and manmade orders of the world at the Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater; and watching a film projected on a five-story-high screen with six-channel digital surround sound.

The National Air and Space Museum continues to develop new exhibits on the history, science and technology of aviation and space flight. The museum is also a center for research and provides guided tours, educational programs and school group activities.

There were numerous school groups in attendance on the day we were there.

Military personnel of the the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment are assigned to carrying for the horses which are housed at both Fort Myer and Fort Belvoir, and the day we visited the stables the CQ was also a farrier and he was getting ready to shoe one of the horses, but took time out to give us a guided tour which included giving the animals food.

He pointed out the different jobs which ferriers for a particular day must do in carrying for the horses.

There are always 60 caisson horses, 40 stabled at Ft. Myer and 20 stabled at Ft. Belvoir. Generally there are eight full-honor funerals each day, splitting the two riding teams for a total of four funerals per day for each team.

These caisson horses are rotated and rest between missions. They work a two-week shift of cemetery duty. After that two weeks they are given R&R at Ft. Belvoir, and another 20 of the rested caisson horses are brought to Ft. Myer for their two week duty.

It was pointed that their mission is physically and psychologically demanding.

The caisson horses must learn to override their instincts and work as partners both with other horses and people. Bonding between horses and men needs to be a part of this honor; thus it takes constant practice and precision.

Originally the caissons had ammunition chests, spare wheels and tools, but they have been replaced with a flat deck on which the caskets rest.

.The former Fostoria Glass site in Moundsville has changed somewhat in the past week as the empty grounds now house several types of materials and machinery.

The property is owned by GAB Enterprises LLC/, whose address is on Sandy Drive in Powhatan Point.

There are four deeds filed at the Marshall County Courthouse pertaining to the property between the Building Commission of the city of Moundsville, the grantor and GAB Enterprises LLC, a West Virginia Limited Liability Company, the grantee. These deeds list the acreage of each parcel and the boundaries of the property. The city of Moundsville’s Business Commission conveyed 8.24 acres to GAB Enterprise.

The dates of the deed filings were Oct. 8, 2009, Jan. 3, 2012, Aug. 13, 2012 (a deed of correction) and Sept. 18-2012.

I have been informed that one of the issues on the agenda of the Marshall County Historical Society at its meeting on Monday at the Moundsville-Marshall County Public Library will be the two small buildings on the grounds of the Grave Creek Mound Complex.

These two structures haven’t been used for some time and thus the roofs have collapsed, and trees have grown up through the what were the roofs.

The MCHS would like to see new roofs placed on the buildings.

I do know that the Moundsville Landmarks Commission also discussed these buildings at a meeting this past week and that group also would like to see these building restored.

The buildings have the same type of bricks as the former West Virginia Penitentiary. One was a inmate gift shop/museum when the prison was still in existence, while the other was a restroom for visitors to the Grave Creek Mound.

While on the subject of the Grave Creek Mound, hopefully soon the two cabinets for displays of both Fostoria glass ware and Marx Toys will be arriving.

Stopped by the Four Seasons Pool this past week and learned that things are going smoothly in prepared for the re-opening.

On that particular day, some workmen were removing the old dehumidifier while others were engaged in painting the interior of the building. The pool has already been re-painted.

Yet to be done is the wiring of the new dehumidifier and painting of the locker rooms. No date has been set for the re-opening.

Now that the pool is just a few weeks from re-opening, hopefully no other issues will brought forward pertaining to the facility.

A reminder!

The Moundsville Lions Club will be sponsoring a Spring Fling Spaghetti Dinner from 4-7 p.m. Friday at the First Presbyterian Church, with proceeds to be used for the purchase of eye examinations and eye glasses for needy individuals.

The public is invited. Tickets will be available at the door.

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