Rick's World Sedona

Veteran & Military Commemoration

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~ ~ Veteran & Military Commemoration ~ ~

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Images and Video Below
World War II Historical Images and Rarely Seen Movie Footage

Select the buttons or images below to go to the website

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Irving Berlin's "God Bless America" Introduced in 1940 by Kate Smith

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Irving Berlin's "God Bless America" - Introduced for the first time by Kate Smith in 1940. At that time, the war was raging in Europe. America was deep in the throws of an ecumenic depression. It was only a matter of time before we would be thrown into this war.

Frank Sinatra said that there were a million guys who got some "dust" in their eyes when they heard this song for the first time. Please enjoy and God Bless America.

Side Note: At 4:20 in the video, there is a young actor named Ronald Reagan sitting and reading the "
Hollywood Variety".
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"Remember Me" by 15 year old Lizzie Palmer
This video was created by Lizzie Palmer when she was 15 years old to honor our troops. Have tissue ready. It is a powerful video.
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Historical Footage in Color of VJ Day - August 14, 1945

HISTORICAL FOOTAGE Go to additional video created on VJ Day, August 14th, 1945 in Honolulu Hawaii.  This is a great piece of History. It was produced in Kodachrome COLOR. This was written by Richard Sullivan: "65 years ago my dad shot this film along Kalakaua Ave. in Waikiki, capturing spontaneous celebrations that broke out upon first hearing news of the Japanese surrender. Kodachrome 16mm film: God Bless Kodachrome right?. I was able to find an outfit (mymovietransfer.com) to do a much superior scan of this footage to what I had previously posted. So I did this film and replaced the older version. There are more still images from this amazing day., in color, at www.discoveringhawaii.com"

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Our Sedona Arizona Connection - Sedona Military Park
On Memorial Day of 2013 - The Sedona Military Service Park was dedication. All Sedona residents who were honorably discharged and have lived in the Sedona one year or more are eligible for an inscription onto the granite plaques. The Sedona Military Service Park is named the “Jack Jamesen Memorial Park”. You can find the Memorial right next to Bank of America at SR 89A and Northview Rd which intersects with Mountain Shadow Dr.
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Aerial - Riverside National Cemetery
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My son Ryan Sperry was a member of the Department of Veteran Affairs, Grounds Crew for Riverside National Cemetery. In 2019, Ryan transferred to the Veterans Hospital in Loma Linda. This is such a beautiful and tranquil location and honors our Veterans who are laid to rest in this National Cemetery.

This is an article I wrote to honor those Veterans and those who tend the graves of our Veterans who have passed-on and are buried in Riverside National Cemetery.
"Reflections On The Real Meaning Of Memorial Day".
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The Sperry Family Military History
Overview 
The two pictures in the following tabs are near and dear to my heart. On special days such as Veterans Day and Memorial Day, I revisit these photos to remind me of the commitment that our military forces play each and every day. Our military personnel put on that uniform and go into harms way to protect our freedom. This is a special act that elevates all first responders and individuals who put on a uniform and risk their lives to the level of hero in my eyes.
Ray Sperry 
I am very proud to be the son of a decorated WWII hero. My father single-handedly recaptured an American machine gun nest that had been abandoned and taken over by the Germans. For his bravery on the battlefield he received the Bronze Star which my son Ryan (next tab) proudly holds today. As you look at the images, notice the close resemblance of my father and son in these pictures.
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Ryan Sperry 
It goes without saying that I am very proud of my son Ryan, who is a Marine and Hero in my eyes.

As the saying goes …"Once a Marine, always a Marine." Ryan enlisted in the Marines in 1998. Ryan throughly checked out every branch of service before deciding on the Marines. He received his initial training at Camp Pendleton and went on to receive additional training. Ryan's goal was to be part of the Marine Security Forces. Those are the troops who protect our embassies, White House and other facilities including American facilities in foreign countries.

After his training, he was stationed in the Middle-East, Bahrain, at the Monai Compound. At the time (before 911), This was the third highest worldwide threat to our troops. You could see Iran from Bahrain.

While Ryan was in Bahrain, the USS Cole was bombed on October 12, 2000. He volunteered to guard it from additional threats but he was on duty and was turned down. Other Marines from his unit were assigned because it was the closest point to the terrorist attack.
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Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the tomb of the Unknown and why?
21 steps - It alludes to the 21 gun salute which is the highest honor given any military or foreign dignitary.
How long does the guard hesitate after his about face to begin his return walk?
21 seconds - It alludes to the 21 gun salute which is the highest honor given any military or foreign dignitary.
Why are the guard's gloves wet?
The gloves are moistened to prevent losing the grip on the rifle.
Why does the guard switch shoulders with his rifle on his walk?
The rifle is always on the outside shoulder away from the tomb.
How often do the guards change?
Guards are changed every 30 minutes. This is done 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.
What are the physical traits of the guard limited to?
For a person to apply for guard duty, he must be between 5' 10" and 6' 2" tall and his waist size cannot exceed 30 inches.
Additional Information for members of the Honor Guard
They must commit 2 years of life to guard tone Tomb. Live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot drink any alcohol on or off duty for the rest of their lives. They cannot swear in public for the rest of their lives and cannot disgrace the uniform or the Tomb in any way.

After 2 years, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on their lapel signifying they served as Guard of the Tomb. there are presently only 400 worn. The guard must obey these rules for the rest of their lives or give up the wreath pin.

The shoes are specially made with very thick soles to keep the heat and cold from their feet. They are metal heel plates that extend to the top of the shoe in order to make the loud click as they come to a halt.

There are no wrinkles, folds or lint on the uniform. Guards dress for duty in front of a full length mirror. The first six months of duty a guard cannot talk to anyone nor watch TV. All off duty time is spent studying the 175 notable people laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery. A guard must memorize who they are and where they are interred. Among the notables are: President Taft and Joe Lewis (the boxer). Medal of Honor winner Audie Murphy, the most decorated soldier of WWII and of Hollywood fame.

Every guard spends five hours a day getting his uniforms ready for guard duty.
The Guard has not missed a shift since 1930.
In 2003 as Hurricane Isabelle was approaching Washington DC, the Congress took 2 days off with anticipation of the storm. On the news that evening, it was reported that because of the dangers from the hurricane, the military members assigned the duty of guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier were given permission to suspend the assignment.

The guards respectfully declined the offer, "No way, Sir!" Soaked to the skin, marking in the pelting rain of a tropical storm, they said that glaring the Tomb was not just an assignment, it was the highest honor that can be afforded to a service person. The tomb has been patrolled continuously, 24/7, since 1930.
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A True Story…
When the first period kids entered the room they discovered that there were no desks.
'Ms. Cothren, where're our desks?'
She replied, 'You can't have a desk until you tell me how you earn the right to sit at a desk.'
they thought, 'Well, maybe it's our grades.'
'No, 'she said.
'Maybe it's our behavior.'
She told them, 'No, it's not even your behavior.'
and so, they came and went, the first period, second period, third period. Still no desks in the classroom.

By early afternoon, television news crews had started gathering in Ms. Cothren's classroom to report about this crazy teacher who had taken all the desks our of her room. The final period of the day came and as the puzzled students found seats on the floor of the desk less classroom, Martha Cothren said, 'throughout the day no one has been able to tell me just what he/she has done to earn the right to sit at the desks that are ordinarily found in this classroom. Now I am going to tell you.'

Martha said, 'You didn't earn the right to sit at these dest. These heroes did it for you. They placed the desks here for you. Now, it's up to you to sit in them. It is your responsibility to learn, to be good students and to be good citizens. They paid the price so that you could have the freedom to get an education Don't ever forget it.'

At this point, Martha Cothren went over to the door of her classroom and opened it. Twenty-seven U.S Veterans, all in uniforms, walked into that classroom, each one carrying a school desk. The Vets began placing the school desks in rows, and then they would walk over and stand alongside the wall. By the time the last soldier had set the final desk in place those kids started to understand, perhaps for the first time in their lives, just how tithe right to at those desks had been earned.

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