USS Gearing DD-710
41 more photos and captions
from Bill Latta (PC3 65-67)
Photo Section #2 of 3.
"Tour stops in Washington, Arlington Cemetery, Navy Museum at the Washington Navy Yard, and back at the hotel, the auction fundraiser."
2155 – Our tour took us next to the Lincoln Memorial. There our group ascended the great steps
to enter this beautiful neoclassical monument built to honor the memory of Abraham Lincoln.
2156 – Ominous clouds passing overhead could not spoil the beauty of the National Mall looking east
from the Lincoln Memorial toward the Washington Monument and the Capitol Building.
2157 – This colossal statue of a seated Abraham Lincoln
designed by Daniel Chester French and carved in Georgia white marble
by the Piccirilli brothers greeted our group as we entered the
massive interior room built in the Lincoln Memorial to house it.
The statue rests on a platform of Tennessee marble and rises
nineteen-feet above this base.
2159 – On the left side, as we entered the Lincoln Memorial,
we could see Lincoln’s entire 180 word Gettysburg Address
etched and framed in the white marble wall.
2179 – The view east from the Lincoln Memorial of the National Mall
with its Reflecting Pool and the Washington Monument, where
Martin Luther King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, is breathtaking.
1197 - On Friday we took a tour of the nation’s Capitol. We passed the Thomas Jefferson Building,
originally known as the Library of Congress Building. It is just north of the U.S. Capitol.
It was built between 1890 and 1897 in the Beaus-Arts style of architecture to house its
growing collection, including the entire library of Thomas Jefferson, who prudently sold it
to the government rather than donate it.
1199 - Our tour group caught this first glimpse on Sunday morning of the iconic U.S. Capitol dome.
The statue “Freedom” stands atop its white columned cupola. Hideous scaffolding that has covered
the upper half of the dome’s exterior for many months has been removed by the time of our reunion.
It was erected as a platform for repair and restoration.
1203 - Our tour group joins many others in a line to the U.S. Capitol Visitor’s Center beneath
the East Front Plaza. Scaffolding erected for repair and restoration still shrouds the lower third
of the capitol’s iconic and magnificent dome.
1210 - Our tour group passes through security and lines up to enter the U.S. Capitol in the lobby
of the U.S. Capitol Visitor’s Center housed beneath the north legislative plaza above.
1215 - Our tour group could see these massive ionic columns,
supporting coffered ceilings with plaster motifs
and decorative light fixtures, as we climbed the staircase
between the visitor’s center and the capitol’s rotunda.
1216 - Constantino Brumidi painted the famous mural “The Apotheosis of Washington” in the eye of the
Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol Building in 1865. Unfortunately, only the center of the fresco can be seen,
owing to the canvas shroud suspended to protect visitors on the ground from falling dust and debris
during repair and restoration of the Capitol’s dome.
1221 - This magnificent interior view of the dome over Statuary Hall
in the U.S. Capitolwas breathtaking when our tour group looked up.
1236 - Our tour guide gives a history of Statuary Hall and identified the statues housed therein.
Each state is allowed two statues to represent their state at any given time. They can be changed from time
to time, but never more than two per state. Territories and the District of Columbia are allowed only one.
1238 - Our tour guide, in the red coat, takes questions and responds
to our tour group in Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol.
1257 - Our group passed Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s office
on our way to view the Rotunda. Perhaps a great time for a
quick visit. Think he might be in, or off meeting Donald somewhere?
1260 - Faye Latta, wife of Bill Latta (PC3, 1965-67) reads about the
replica statue of “Freedom” in the lobby of the U.S. Capitol Visitor’s
Center. The original 15,000 lb. bronze statue sits on a granite
pedestal above the cupola atop the U.S. Capitol’s great dome, making
it rise 288 feet above the East Front Plaza.
1267 - Our tour caught this glimpse of the Capitol dome from the southwest as we made
our way to the south side of the U.S. Capitol Building.
1272 - Our tour group crossed the East Main Plaza to see this view of the east façade of the U.S. Capitol.
The U.S. House of Representatives is to the columned wing in the background.
1298 - Our tour group could see the south facade of the U.S. Capitol as we made our way
along the curved sidewalk to the south side of the building.
1313 - Our tour took us to Arlington National Cemetery, a very quiet, solemn place of honor
and as a final resting place for many of our military and veterans.
1317 - The three arching streaks, representing contrails of fighter jets, at the Air Force Memorial
could be easily seen as our tour group rode a tram through many thousands of gravesites
in Arlington National Cemetery.
1323 - Our tour group entered through this monumental entry gate
at the Arlington Memorial Amphitheater.
1326 - After entering through the monumental gate, we could see the white marble stage of the
Arlington Memorial Amphitheater. It is from this stage that the president traditionally
makes his Memorial Day speech each year.
1333 - Our tour group joined the crowd of visitors to witness the solemn ceremony of
The Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown in Arlington National Cemetery.
1340 - Fielded by only a select number of elite U.S. Army soldiers and in total silence,
the guard for the next watch makes a sharp left face to begin the walk to relieve the previous guard.
The guard is changed every half-hour, 24/7, 365 days a year, rain, snow, storm, or shine.
The guards live and serve on-site.
1343 - The relieving guard has his weapon inspected by his superior.
1352 - The guard being relieved marches away with his superior to their quarters, as the relieving guard
now stands silent watches over the Tomb of the Unknown.
1357 - Our tour group was met with a pleasant surprise as we entered The National Museum
of the United States Navy located at the Washington Navy Yard when we discovered the original
quarterdeck plaque for our destroyer the USS Gearing (DD-710). Every shipmate remembers seeing
this very plaque each time he left or returned to the ship from liberty both at home and abroad.
1382 - The Ladies’ Auction was held in the hotel Hospitality Room. It is a fun fundraising event
to help the Association remain financially sound and to help with all the reunions, administrative needs
and other items that make our Association strong and what it is today. Shipmates bring donated items
to each reunion that is then bid on for often-ridiculous prices.
It is all for a good cause, a lot of fun, with a lot of laughs.
1383 - Joan Witkowski, wife of Bob Witkowski (FTG3, 1965-66), holds an item up for bid
while Carl Lloyd (RM3, 1945-46), in the blue Gearing ball cap, serves as auctioneer.
Faye Latta, wife of Bill Latta (PC3, 1965-67), in the yellow jacket, serves as the auction treasurer.
Ken Baker (ETN3, 1962-64) in the white Gearing ball cap and Bruce Putinas (HT1, 1971)
at the far right patiently wait to help with the other items up for bid.
1385 - Bruce Putinas (HT1, 1971) holds up a U.S. Navy ball cap for auction.
Vern Clark (LTJG, 1970-72), a former Engineering Officer on the Gearing
(and later, Chief of Naval Operations) is in the foreground.
1389 - Carl Lloyd (RM3, 1945-46) acts as the auctioneer for the Ladies’ Auction, during the
USS Gearing Association’s 29th annual reunion. Pam Baker (center), wife of
Ken Baker ETN3, 1962-64), serves at the organizer of the auction, and Faye Latta (right),
wife of Bill Latta (PC3, 1965-67) serves as the auction’s treasurer.
1390 - Maria Bento, wife of Ray Bento (GMSN, 1956-60), delivers an item to a winning bidder
during the Ladies’ Auction. The bidding often gets heated with much competition for any given item.
(End of Photo section #2 of 3.)