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After unannounced visit of Arlington National Cemetery in rain, Trump orders to bring soldiers home from abroad



(quote)

15 December 2018
Trump's surprise visit to Arlington in the rain
On Saturday, Trump arrived around 2.15pm at Arlington National Cemetery unannounced for wreath laying, which decorates the graves of fallen troops for Christmas.

19 December 2018
independent.co.uk Trump orders full and immediate withdrawal of US troops from Syria
The US has more than 2,000 troops in Syria. US officials said on Wednesday that a full withdrawal had been requested by Mr Trump. One official told Reuters that the pullout could take up to 100 days. Shortly after news of the plans emerged, the president appeared to tweet confirmation.

*update*
21 December 2018
BBC Trump to withdraw thousands of troops from Afghanistan
The Trump administration is planning to withdraw thousands of troops from Afghanistan, US media say. Reports, citing unnamed officials, say about 7,000 troops - roughly half the remaining US military presence in the country - could go home within months. The reports come a day after the president announced the country's military withdrawal from Syria.

24 December 2018  read more »

7 Dec 1941. Pearl Harbor


(quote)
Today in 1941, carrier-based Japanese aircraft staged a surprise attack on U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor. The next day, the United States officially entered World War


Fat Man, the 10,300-pound atom bomb that convinced the Japanese Empire to end the war after 8/9/1945
(unquote)

Photo courtesy National Air and Space Museum and @AHMalcolm

One of The Few: 99-year-old WWii ace pilot takes to the skies in a Spitfire ahead of 78th anniversary of Battle of Britain Day


(quote)

A hero Battle of Britain pilot has taken to the skies at the tender age of 99 for the last time - in a Spitfire.
World War II ace Archie McInnes is one of only six surviving RAF pilots who took part in the vital Battle of Britain - known as The Few.

The war hero took to the skies above Kent last week in a refurbished Second World War Spitfire - accompanied by the plane he flew during the war.

The flight was organised and photographed by pal Jonny Cracknell, working alongside the Battle of Britain Museum. Jonny said: 'There are only eight Battle of Britain airmen left, and out of them, Archie is the most active.

There are only six pilots and two aircrew left out of the thousands of heroes who risked everything to protect Britain from the Nazis.

Archie joined the RAF in 1938, the year before the war, and completed pilot training in August, 1940.

After the Battle of Britain ended, on Ocotber 31, 1940, Archie's illustrious career took him on board HMS Victorious - where he was part of the team that hunted the Bismarck.

Archie then took part in the North African campaign, where he was shot down and lost his arm.

Pilots who fought in the Battle of Britain are known as 'The Few' after an iconic speech by then-PM Winston Churchill: 'Never was so much owed by so many to so few.'

The flight was organised ahead of the 78th anniversary of Battle of Britain Day, on September 15.

(unquote)  read more »

"Peace Constitution" drafted by US lawyers, Japan's law, renounces war: 3 collisions, US-Japan naval drill


in June 2017, the USS Fitzgerald and a cargo ship chartered by Nippon Yusen KK smashed into each other off Japan

(quote)

The Constitution of Japan is the fundamental law of Japan. It was enacted on May 3, 1947, as a new constitution for a post-war Japan - "Post-war Constitution" or the "Peace Constitution", largely drafted by US lawyers in the occupation authority - is best known for its Article 9, by which Japan renounces its right to wage war.

19Nov2017
The incident came as Japanese and US forces take part in a 10-day joint naval drill
An American warship has been damaged after a tug boat drifted into the destroyer during a drill off Japan, according to the US navy, the latest in a spate of incidents in Asia.

The guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold was participating in a scheduled towing exercise in Sagami Bay on Saturday when the Japanese tug lost propulsion, according to the US 7th Fleet.

The Japanese coastguard said the tug lost control and drifted into the warship as a rope got caught in its propeller, but confirmed there were no injuries.

Back in June, the USS Fitzgerald and a cargo ship smashed into each other off Japan, leaving seven sailors dead.

23Aug2017
The 7th Fleet has been involved in more than one deadly collision in Asia so far this year.  read more »

"Old Ironsides" sails again: world's oldest commissioned warship USS Constitution marks 220 years and US Navy's 242nd birthday

(quote)

The world’s oldest commissioned warship afloat got underway for the first time in three years as the USS Constitution got underway from the ship’s berth in Charlestown, Massachusetts, on Oct. 20, in commemoration of the ship’s launching 220 years ago and the U.S. Navy’s 242nd birthday.
At 11:40 a.m., Constitution performed a 21-gun salute which was returned by the Concord Battery and 101st Field Artillery near Fort Independence on Castle Island. Fort Independence is a state park that served as a defensive position for Boston Harbor from 1634 to 1962.

The ship also fired an additional 17 shots at 12:15 p.m. as she passed the U.S. Coast Guard Station, the former site of the Edmund Hartt shipyard where Constitution was built. Each round of this salute honored the 16 states that comprised America when Constitution launched in 1797 and one in honor of the ship.

“Getting Constitution back on the water has been my mission ever since I took command in 2015,” said Cmdr. Robert S. Gerosa, Jr., Constitution’s 74th commanding officer.

USS Constitution is a wooden-hulled, three-masted heavy frigate of the United States Navy, named by President George Washington after the Constitution of the United States of America.  read more »

A Jolly Good Fellow, classy: Prince Philip, 96, LAST of 22,220 solo engagements in incredible 65 years of royal duties

content/prince-philip-duke-of-edinburgh-retires-from-royal-duties-at-96-last-public-engagement-2017


(quote)
Left: Prince Philip in his regalia in 1958. Right: On May 31 2017 after he announced his retirement.


Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip were married in 1957 and have been together ever since.


2003: The Queen can't hide her smiles as her husband dons a uniform for The Queen's Company Review at Windsor Castle.


The Duke of Edinburgh laughed as he spoke with senior officers.


Born at the family home, Mon Repos in Corfu Greece - allegedly on the kitchen table - on June 10 1921, Prince Philippos of Greece and Denmark came to Britain when he was just one year old.


The Duke has immersed himself in national life but also served in the Armed Forces, left, in his naval uniform circa 1982; and right, on a boat in Malta in 1949

 read more »

Eight US flags that could have been: Grand Union, Liberty Tree, Betsy Ross, Don’t Tread on Me, Serapis...


1. Grand Union Flag, 1775
(quote)
When, on 1 January 1776, Washington’s Continental Army was mustered formally on Prospect Hill (Mount Pisgah) in Somerville, Massachusetts, it was under this flag favoured by the American general during the previous year’s Siege of Boston. John Paul Jones, the first well-known American admiral raised the Grand Union Flag at sea in December 1775. The Grand Union Flag was an adaptation of the British Red Ensign, with six white stripes overlain on the red backdrop to create thirteen alternating red-and-white stripes symbolising the first states of the American union.


2. Liberty Tree flag, 1775
The lofty white pines of New England were much prized by the Royal Navy for the construction of its grandest warships. Dating from the Massachusetts Charter of 1691, prize specimens were marked with a broad arrow symbol denoting property of the Crown and shipped to England. This form of compulsory purchase led to the Pine Tree Riot of 1772, a precursor to the famous Boston Tea Party of 1774 and war with Great Britain a year later.

Flown from the masts of American warships, the Pine Tree flag was a powerful symbolic riposte to the Crown and its Royal Navy. A lone pine was shown on a white background with the inscription "An Appeal to Heaven" ("An Appeal to God" was a less common alternative). These words were taken from the British philosopher John Locke’s Second Treatise on Civil Government (1690), which refuted the notion of the Divine Right of Kings.


3. The Betsy Ross, 1776 (or not)  read more »

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