October 16, 2017 § 1 Comment
It follows then as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious.
— George Washington
The mission of the Navy is to maintain, train and equip combat-ready Naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression and maintaining freedom of the seas.
— Mission statement of the United States Navy
AP 13 Oct 2017 The world’s oldest commissioned warship will set sail from Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston on Oct. 20. It will be the warship’s first sail since October 2014, and commemorates the Navy’s 242nd birthday and the 220th anniversary of the Constitution’s launch.
The wooden ship will travel to Fort Independence on Castle Island, where it will fire a 21-gun salute. An additional 17-gun salute will be fired as the ship passes the U.S. Coast Guard station, the former site of the shipyard where the Constitution was built and launched in 1797. ~
I would love to witness gun salutes blasting from this mighty and historied vessel!
The USS Constitution is a spectacular 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. She was among the first naval warships commissioned by the US government in 1794 and notably seaworthy to date. As such she is the world’s oldest commissioned naval vessel afloat. She got the nickname “Old Ironsides” from significant naval victory against the British in the War of 1812.
The United States Navy
Non sibi sed patriae (Not for self but for country)
The U.S. Navy is the largest, most capable navy in the world, with the highest combined battle fleet tonnage. The U.S. Navy has the world’s largest aircraft carrier fleet, with eleven in service, one in the reserve fleet, and two new carriers under construction. With service has 322,421 personnel on active duty and 107,577 in the Navy Reserve, the Navy is the third largest of the service branches. It has 276 deployable combat vessels and more than 3,700 operational aircraft as of June 2017. ~wiki
The U.S. Navy traces its origins to the Continental Navy. It was established during the American Revolutionary War thru the strong support and influential feats in naval battle of George Washington. On 13 October 1775, the Continental Congress authorized the purchase of two vessels to be armed for a cruise against British merchant ships; this resolution created the Continental Navy and is considered the first establishment of the U.S. Navy.
Towards the end of the Revolutionary War in 1785 the Congress sold the last remaining vessel in the Continental Navy, the Alliance, due to lack of funds to maintain the ship or support naval resources.
The Naval Act of 1794
With the success of the Revolutionary War, the United States became an independent nation but lost its navy and the protection of the British Empire. The subsequent decade of protection by the precursors of the Coast Guard seemed sufficient. Ultimately, it left American merchant ships vulnerable to intimidation by hostile nations and wholesale seizure by Barbary pirates. It was the latter that incited urgent action to create what would over time become the current US Navy. The USS Constitution was among the largest of the first warships commissioned by the US Congress in the Naval Armament Act of 1794. These ships would aggressively respond to the Barbary threat in the Mediterranean Sea.
The Act to Provide a Naval Armament (Sess. 1, ch. 12, 1 Stat. 350), also known as the Naval Act of 1794, or simply, the Naval Act, was passed by the 3rd United States Congress on March 27, 1794 and signed into law by President George Washington. The act authorized the construction of six frigates at a total cost of $688,888.82. These ships were the first ships of what eventually became the present-day United States Navy. ~wiki
USS George Washington
Titans of the seas. The Nimitz Class nuclear-powered aircraft carriers are the largest warships ever built. The next generation, the Gerald R Ford Class, will be even larger. Carriers are only named for Presidents and other such notable individuals, like Admiral Nimitz. Carrier strike groups are both an offensive and defensive capable presence in the seas worldwide.
USS George Washington (CVN 73) Carrier Strike Group
SOURCES: heavily wiki cuts – not all are cited, AP, various military themed sites.
August 21, 2017 § Leave a comment
“The Ripple of Hope”
This piece was delivered by RFK in apartheid South Africa, 1966. It is considered by scholars and others to be his greatest speech. The entirety needs to be heard by all people in the United States to remind us of the ideals of our nation and the principles we stand for during these divisive and uncivil times. An incredible piece. Profound and timeless.
“We must recognize the full human equality of all of our people before God, before the law and in the councils of government. We must do this, not because it is economically advantageous, although it is; not because the laws of God command it, although they do; not because people in other lands wish it so. We must do it for the single and fundamental reason that it is the right thing to do.”
~ Robert F. Kennedy, 1966, “Ripple of Hope” speech
April 13, 2017 § Leave a comment
On the evening before the crucifixion of Jesus, Good Friday, Jesus celebrated The Last Supper with his Apostles sealing a covenant with God and his fate. As Jesus had predicted during the meal, Judas betrayed Jesus’ location and then his identity to the Roman soldiers with a kiss.
The image below is part of a fresco cycle by Giotto. The entire work was completed about 1305 and considered to be an important masterpiece of Western art. Giotto’s fresco cycle focuses on the life of the Virgin Mary and celebrates her role in human salvation. wiki
Giotto has been credited with ushering in The Renaissance. He introduced a revolutionary artistic style that created a sense of realism seen here with the folding cloth that envelopes bodies, light and shadow, and perspective – depth with elements diminishing in size and detail as they recede back into space. This style represented a dramatic departure from the visually flat, decorative, and iconographic images of the Middle Ages.
“Judas greets Jesus with a kiss, identifying him for the Romans who have come to arrest him. The look on Jesus’ face speaks volumes – he knows what is happening. The Judas’ kiss became the most poignant symbol of betrayal in the Christian world.” art bible.info Giotto
Cappella degli Scrovegni
The church was dedicated to Santa Maria della Carità at the Feast of the Annunciation, 1303, and consecrated in 1305. Giotto’s fresco cycle focuses on the life of the Virgin Mary and celebrates her role in human salvation. – wiki
Photographs taken of the Cappella degli Scrovegni in Padua Italy.
Sources for images and cited text:
April 24, 2016 § Leave a comment
An inspired animation of Frida Kahlo’s famous portrait that was taken by her father, Guillermo Kahlo, in 1932 . The animation incorporates key images from her works that also defined her life as she depicted it on canvas. I had to have it.
Frida Kahlo Bio as Artist
“Mexican fantasy painter known as much for her turbulent personal life as her fanciful self-portraits. Kahlo learned to paint in 1925 after recovering from a debilitating bus accident that left her unable to bear children. The tragedy was often the subject of her paintings and was an integral part of her personal imagery. Her work can be seen as the product of a kind of exorcism by which she projected her anguish on to another Frida, in order to free herself from pain and at the same time maintain a hold of reality. Small in scale, primitive in style, and bold in color, the artist is sometimes shown as an animal, such a deer, which have lead artists and critics alike to label her work Surrealist. The artist eschewed this, maintaining that she painted images from her own life, not dreams. Also the subject of several works was her tumultuous marriage to artist Diego Rivera. One portrait shows the artist as a tiny figure in traditional Mexican dress, dwarfed in size by the large, brooding Rivera. In 1953, Kahlo’s leg was amputated at the knee due to gangrene. She subsequently turned to drugs and alcohol to relieve her suffering. She died almost certainly by suicide in 1954. Her work received notoriety in the 1970’s, becoming popular with feminist art historians and Latin Americans living in the United States” – via MoMA
Frida Kahlo spent the majority of her life confined to a bed and in physical pain. She painted her small world in graphic and sometimes gruesome detail. Her work was and still is labeled as Surrealism, which she strongly rejected. So, I applied another label I found, Magic Realism. The first painting, below, is her first of many future self-portraits. The bottom 3 paintings represent some of her greatest works. All of the images are Courtesy of www.FridaKahlo.org.
The Broken Column, 1944 by Frida Kahlo. Courtesy of http://www.FridaKahlo.org