Veterans Day 2019

Here in the States, November 11 is Veterans Day. Originally it was established as Armistice Day, the day Germany formally surrendered at the end of WW I: November 11, 1918. In 1954, the name was changed to Veterans Day, to honor U.S. veterans and victims of all wars.

In 2015 my husband and I took a long awaited trip to France. One of the places we visited was the American Cemetery in Normandy. The cemetery covers 172.5 acres and contains the remains of 9,388 American soldiers. There are graves of Army Air Corps crews shot down over France as early as 1942, and graves of 4 American women. But most of the graves are of those soldiers who died during the Invasion of Normandy.

It is a sobering place, as you look out over row upon row upon row of crosses and stars of David. My husband said, “There is such sadness here.” My thought was of all those men, overwhelmingly young, who would never have a chance to have a career, or fall in love, or get married, or live to see their children grow up. They would never see their lives open up before them.

Here is a closeup of an infinitely small section.

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The American Cemetery at Normandy                                                                Image: ©Hannah Keene

Posted for the Ragtag Daily Prompt: Bravery.

The San Francisco Transbay Terminal/Transit Center

When I was a little girl in the early 50’s, and then later when my family returned to the Bay Area in the late 60’s, one of the constants was the San Francisco Transbay Terminal. Built in 1939 by the famous local architect Timothy L. Pflueger, it was a huge concrete building where the trains from East Bay and then in 1959 buses from the extended Bay Area would arrive. Even long distance transportation such as Greyhound busses and Amtrak trains would pull up at the terminal. Then all you had to do was walk outside, and climb aboard one of the various forms of public transit available in the City. The East Bay cities had their transit companies and S.F. had another. But all of them worked remarkably seamlessly together. Not flawlessly, mind you, but it was a piece of cake to transfer from one system to another.

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This image was copied from Wikipedia

My husband and I left the Bay Area for jobs when we got married at the end of 1974. 42 years later we returned (2016), only to visibly discover what we knew from the news: the 1939 Terminal had been demolished and the new San Francisco Transbay Transit Center had been built. This was a HUGE change as you can see below. I took this photo as friends and I were inching our way towards the on-ramp for the Bay Bridge about 2 months ago. We had gone into the City to see a play, and there seemed to be an accident blocking one access to the bridge. At one point it took us half an hour to advance 5 blocks, so it was a long trip home. We laughed, we joked, we carried on, and of course I used the opportunity to take photos by leaning out the window.

Here is one photograph of the new Transit Center taken just as we entered under the overpass, and looking behind us. (It’s now named the Sales Force Transit Center). Look for the garage entrance (Enter and Do Not Enter) in the lower right of the photograph, then follow upward on the slant toward the windows and you will see the steel grid of the canopy reflected.

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Hannah Keene 2019

Posted to the Ragtag Daily Prompt: Change

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Genius of Scaffolding

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Image: Zebras Child 2019

Scaffolding has been around since humans decided to try and build higher than their arms and hands could reach. It took ingenuity to get the idea off the ground. (Sorry, that’s a really bad pun, but I couldn’t resist the temptation.) Archeologists think that scaffolding might have been used to reach the high portions of the rock in the Lascaux Caves in France. That would put the use of scaffolding in the Paleolithic era, which means that prehistoric man constructed some sort of scaffolding over 17,000 years ago. That is amazing to me, as I can’t really conceive of how long ago 17,000 years was. Additional information on the history of scaffolding can be found here.

This is posted to the Ragtag Daily Prompt: Ingenuity