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Honoring Marines buried at Arlington National Cemetery
Episode 9115th January 2024 • Talk With History • Walk with History - The History Inspired Travelers
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History or Die t-shirt

In this episode of 'Talk With History', hosts Scott and Jenn discuss their visit to Arlington National Cemetery post-Christmas break, visiting the graves of famous figures from Marine Corps history and examining their contributions and stories.

Among the featured topics are 'Talk With History' merchandise (inspired by Benjamin Franklin), actors Gunnery Sgt. Ermey and Lee Marvin, and astronaut John Glenn who surprised the hosts with his Marine Corps background. Additionally, they discuss the highly debated Confederate circle, the Iwo Jima Memorial, and the graves of Major Megan McClung and Ira Hayes from the Black Sheep Squadron. The hosts encouraged listeners to visit these historic sites and pay tribute to these heroes.

00:00 Introduction and Welcome Back

00:37 Holiday Break and New Merchandise

01:46 Appreciation for Supporters and Community

02:59 The 'History or Die' T-Shirt and Its Significance

03:33 A Journey Through Arlington National Cemetery

04:29 Visiting Arlington on Veterans Day

05:46 Unexpected Encounter with the Confederate Circle

10:43 Controversy Surrounding the Confederate Circle

14:08 Honoring the Marines: Gunny Ermey and Lee Marvin

19:58 Remembering Pappy Boyington: A Marine Corps Pilot

21:05 Baa Baa Black Sheep TV Series and its Real-Life Inspiration

22:59 Tips for Visiting Arlington National Cemetery

23:50 The Record-Breaking Achievements of Boyington

24:22 Exploring the Life and Legacy of Ira Hayes

25:11 Remembering the Heroic Actions of Ira Hayes at Iwo Jima

27:25 The Post-War Life and Legacy of Ira Hayes

29:46 Honoring Major Megan McClung

34:06 The Unexpected Marine Corps Service of Astronaut John Glenn

37:23 Visiting the Iwo Jima Memorial

41:48 Wrapping Up the Journey of Remembrance

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Transcripts

Jenn:

November 10th, 1775, Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, which is always a

Jenn:

joke, that of course the Marine Corps would be established in a bar, right?

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

That's classic.

Scott:

Welcome to Talk With History.

Scott:

I am your host, Scott, here with my wife and historian, Jen.

Scott:

On this podcast, we give you insights to our history inspired world travels,

Scott:

YouTube channel journey, and examine history through deeper conversations

Scott:

with the curious, the explorers, and the history lovers out there.

Scott:

Jenn, we're back.

Scott:

As we record this, this is our first podcast after the Christmas break.

Scott:

We've taken a bit of a break over the holidays, which we try to do every

Jenn:

Yes, everyone should know Scott and I are the parents of three children

Jenn:

who need the magic of Christmas, so

Scott:

and we're doing this kind of a third full time job while you're

Scott:

writing and I'm working doing active duty Navy stuff and all the fun stuff.

Scott:

So while we've been on holiday break, I can tell you we have

Scott:

still kept ourselves busy.

Scott:

So as a bit of a teaser to some of our larger efforts that we'll talk

Scott:

about in the coming weeks and months we just released a history t shirt.

Scott:

with a nod to Benjamin Franklin.

Scott:

So his Join or Die political cartoon is, is famous even today.

Scott:

Picture the, the kind of snake kind of cut up with the different states

Scott:

labels just below it, each section.

Scott:

So it was published in May of 1754 and it was his call to

Scott:

the colonies to stay united.

Scott:

So we just released our new History or Die t shirt.

Scott:

So that's History or Die, which is a nod to that call of unification.

Scott:

We want to bring.

Scott:

Some creators together to help put out good history quality content We have a

Scott:

history dye t shirts live over and walk on the walk with history gift shop right

Scott:

now And they're already our most popular t shirt that we've created so you can

Scott:

feel free to check it out over at walk with history gift shop dot com that's walk

Scott:

with history gift shop com and speaking of those who already bought a shirt

Scott:

and donated towards our efforts today We wanted to give a shout out to Nancy

Scott:

Arnold Brett Eder and Jennifer Thomas.

Scott:

They had the amazing presence of mind to grab our new shirt first, but

Scott:

they also donated during checkout.

Scott:

We actually add that as an option because we don't really

Scott:

make money off the t shirts.

Scott:

We might make a dollar or two.

Scott:

Because I try to keep the prices as low as I possibly can.

Scott:

So thank you so much guys.

Scott:

Nancy is actually someone we met through our online community.

Scott:

Brett is an old family friend and Jen Thomas is a fellow Navy pilot vet that

Scott:

flew with my Jen way back in the day.

Scott:

So thank you all guys so much for, for donating to our efforts.

Scott:

It really does help because none of the stuff that we are

Scott:

doing is necessarily free.

Scott:

And you guys are kind of.

Scott:

Helping us move along.

Scott:

So we really do appreciate the support.

Jenn:

Yes, and if you think of the shirt the political cartoon said join

Jenn:

or die, originally we replaced join with history and it is really a foundational.

Jenn:

Belief of what we do that to really live a full life and to understand

Jenn:

where we're going in the future You really have to understand the past

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

And there's a whole lot of thoughts that I have around kind

Scott:

of that history or die phrase.

Scott:

And we'll talk about that a little bit more in the future.

Scott:

Today we embark on a poignant journey.

Scott:

Through hallowed grounds that bear witness to the legacy of some of the United

Scott:

States Marine Corps most revered heroes.

Scott:

We'll be taking you on a tour through the final resting places of legendary

Scott:

astronauts, iconic drill instructors, and symbols of courage and sacrifice

Scott:

immortalized at the Iwo Jima Memorial.

Scott:

As we walk the sacred grounds and stand before these hallowed graves, we'll

Scott:

delve into the stories etched in stone.

Scott:

Stories that transcend time and continue to inspire generations.

Scott:

Together, let's pay homage to these extraordinary individuals who

Scott:

exemplify the Marine Corps values of honor, courage, and commitment.

Scott:

So, Jen, where were we that we're going to talk about during

Scott:

this Talk with History episode?

Jenn:

Honestly in my opinion and yours too babe We were at the only place you

Jenn:

probably should be on Veterans Day and that was Arlington National Cemetery

Jenn:

in Washington DC Or in Arlington, Virginia people will correct me.

Jenn:

It's not actually in Washington DC.

Jenn:

It's in Arlington, Virginia right across the Potomac but It was

Jenn:

just important for us to go there.

Jenn:

We brought the kids there and we wanted to honor some Marines buried

Jenn:

in Arlington for Veterans Day and it's so close to Marine Corps birthday.

Jenn:

It's the day after the Marine Corps birthday.

Jenn:

The Marine Corps birthday is November 10th and so the Marines were actually

Jenn:

buried at Arlington, were actually celebrated, and they all had Marine

Jenn:

Corps flags in front of their tombstones.

Scott:

So, we actually, we drove up.

Scott:

We live a couple hours away.

Scott:

Drove up to Arlington on Veterans Day.

Scott:

We were there on the actual day.

Scott:

I think it was a Saturday.

Scott:

And so we got up there and there was actually a little bit more people

Scott:

there than than we were normally used to because we've been to

Scott:

Arlington a fair amount of times.

Scott:

And not only for Veterans Day.

Scott:

And we'll talk a little bit more about kind of the people we saw throughout

Scott:

Arlington while we were there, but also that the president was there.

Jenn:

Sure.

Jenn:

And we were not aware that President Biden was going to be there.

Jenn:

So we were rerouted.

Jenn:

And in that reroute, so we, and we'll talk about this when we first get

Jenn:

into Arlington, we have been there before, many times, if you know us and

Jenn:

know this channel, and we, The first grave we visited was Gunnery Sgt.

Jenn:

Ermey, who's the actor, and his grave is in one of the newer locations

Jenn:

way off to the right hand side.

Jenn:

So you really have to go there first or last and it's a long walk to get there.

Jenn:

We don't have car access and so We went there first without even thinking so much

Jenn:

about what was going on and so coming back from his grave We weren't allowed to

Jenn:

Walk by the tomb of the unknown because that's where the ceremony was happening

Jenn:

So we actually ended up walking behind the tomb of the unknown about around the

Jenn:

back side of Arlington National Cemetery And we came across the Confederate circle

Jenn:

something we had heard about and read about but never Visited before and it

Jenn:

I really could tell as we walked upon it that of what it was I was like, oh,

Jenn:

this is the Confederate circle and I thought to myself, I should make a video.

Jenn:

We knew nothing about what was happening with the monument on

Jenn:

the slate to be removed the end of December 2023 . We had no idea about

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

So, and so to kind of set the stage there, so we had gone over and visited

Scott:

Gunny Ermey and because President Biden was doing a presentation in the Tomb of

Scott:

the Unknown Soldier, which is kind of in the center of Arlington, if you've

Scott:

ever been there, it's kind of at the top of this little hill, hilly area We'd

Scott:

gone, gone to see Gunny Ermey, right?

Scott:

And if you, if you're not familiar with his name, think of Full Metal Jacket.

Jenn:

And we're going to give him more.

Scott:

Private Pyle.

Scott:

He's the voice of kind of the, the army soldiers and toy story, famous actor.

Scott:

And going over, we went again, we kind of walked around the Tomb of

Scott:

the Unknown as we were visiting other Marines that we'll talk about.

Scott:

And you said, Oh, cool.

Scott:

Look, here's the, here's Confederate circle.

Scott:

And just kind of unexpectedly,

Jenn:

So there was a naming commission and Congress created them in 2020 providing

Jenn:

suggestions, scrubbing Confederate names or other symbols from the U.

Jenn:

S.

Jenn:

military bases, property, things along that nature.

Jenn:

And under the law, the Pentagon is required to implement

Jenn:

those recommendations.

Jenn:

And so this memorial of in the confederate circle.

Jenn:

So in the confederate circle, just so you know, it's section 16.

Jenn:

So it's a low number.

Jenn:

So think of an original, one of the original sections is 400 confederate

Jenn:

soldiers buried in a circle.

Jenn:

And this monument is kind of put up in the middle of them.

Jenn:

And it was erected in 1914 and funded from the daughters of the confederacy.

Jenn:

And it It promotes the lost cause narrative or at least that's what the

Jenn:

Naming Commission that's what they found that through their research that it

Jenn:

supported the lost cause narrative and they, they believe it, it's about that,

Jenn:

that romanticization of the Confederacy fighting to uphold Southern values while

Jenn:

downplaying the horrors of slavery.

Jenn:

And they found that because the The monument features a bronze woman crowned

Jenn:

with olive leaves, and she's supposed to represent the South, so this, the

Jenn:

strong woman, and then underneath her is 14 shields, one for each of the

Jenn:

14 confederate states, plus Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri, which were border

Jenn:

states who didn't necessarily secede, so They're pulling in three more states

Jenn:

who probably don't want to be pulled in.

Scott:

be pulled

Jenn:

then below the shields are these 32 lifelike figures of gods, confederate

Jenn:

soldiers, and in those figures are two enslaved African Americans.

Jenn:

And one portrays kind of like that mammy stereotype.

Jenn:

Think of Gone with the Wind, and she's holding an infant child up to

Jenn:

a white officer to kind of, kiss the officer goodbye as he goes to war.

Jenn:

And then,

Scott:

goes

Jenn:

and then the other is a enslaved man like following his owner into battle.

Jenn:

So because of those two depictions of African Americans and not really

Jenn:

having their agency, it, it was found by this commission that it

Jenn:

supported that lost cause narrative and

Scott:

Yeah, and, and the interesting thing was, again, from kind of,

Scott:

again, me walking around not, not really knowing much about it.

Scott:

And at the time you didn't really either.

Scott:

Mm-Hmm.

Scott:

It is not a monument that's like in your face.

Scott:

It's not in the center of anything.

Scott:

It's close to, to Arlington house, which is the, the center.

Scott:

Because you, like you said, it's one of the older plots.

Scott:

Correct.

Scott:

But it's, it's not like overly advertised.

Scott:

It's, it's just kind of any other memorial that's around

Jenn:

and it's kind of trees around it.

Jenn:

So you kind of have to walk.

Jenn:

to it.

Jenn:

So the memorial they believed offered this nostalgic mytholized

Jenn:

version of the confederacy.

Jenn:

This is this is what the commission wrote in their report.

Jenn:

Mythologicalized vision of the confederacy, including highly

Jenn:

sanitized depictions of slavery.

Jenn:

And then sometimes the commission will consider alternatives to removing and

Jenn:

They'll add some signage for context or something like that, but ultimately

Jenn:

they decided that contextualization was not an appropriate option in this case.

Jenn:

So they said they will be removing only the bronze elements and the

Jenn:

granite base will remain and they won't disturb any of the 400 graves.

Jenn:

So if you see our video, It is on this bronze, this, this bronze statue

Jenn:

is on a granite base and they're only taking the bronze statue.

Jenn:

Now what's interesting about this bronze statue is it was sculpted by a student

Jenn:

from VMI and that student from VMI is buried in that Confederate circle

Jenn:

from, and so he's buried at Arlington.

Jenn:

He sculpted this.

Jenn:

He went to VMI and VMI has.

Jenn:

asked for the statue.

Jenn:

And

Scott:

And is that, that that's where

Jenn:

that's what they're taking it.

Jenn:

The governor of Virginia had just came in and said if you're going

Jenn:

to take down the statue, we would like to take it to private land.

Jenn:

And since the student at VMI sculpted it, VMI would like to have it.

Jenn:

VMI is going to put it in a But I think in their cemetery there, but it's being taken

Jenn:

away from the person who actually sculpted it who's in Arlington But so that's what's

Jenn:

happening right now We did not we're not aware of that when we made the video if

Jenn:

you want to see the video on instagram It's just me Showing you the statue.

Jenn:

It's

Scott:

and, and the funny part was is you can kind of behind the scenes here

Scott:

a little bit, you were going through kind of some of these Instagram real

Scott:

videos that you had made because we're pretty active on Instagram.

Scott:

And you said, ah, this video isn't really that good.

Scott:

You know, talking about it because you hadn't really told

Scott:

any story or drawn any point.

Scott:

You had literally just pointed out the, the statue and, and here's

Scott:

some graves around and there's, there's a general over there, right?

Scott:

And that was it.

Scott:

And you posted on Instagram literally a day or two before

Scott:

they actually removed it.

Scott:

So timing was just interesting for us and people had plenty to say on that post.

Jenn:

I appreciate that, you know, I, I do say this is section 16, one of the

Jenn:

most unknown and controversial sections.

Jenn:

And I had people argue with me, why is it controversial?

Jenn:

Well, if you look at the 200 other comments in there, you

Jenn:

would see why it's controversial.

Jenn:

But I do have a couple comments who said, This is the most unbiased

Jenn:

description I have seen of this monument.

Jenn:

Cause all she does is say, here's the monument.

Jenn:

Here's some people buried here

Scott:

And that's it.

Jenn:

that's it.

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

So, so that was kind of an interesting aside.

Scott:

And again, that, that monument wasn't really the focus of our visit, you know,

Scott:

and we'll talk about some of the, the Marines that we visited here, but it

Scott:

was just something very interested that they, that kind of came about shortly.

Scott:

It was literally a week or two after we were

Jenn:

Yeah.

Jenn:

And like I said, and we were kind of like, we stumbled upon it because

Jenn:

we had to be rerouted because president Biden was in Arlington.

Jenn:

It, we, it was never something we were going to.

Jenn:

Make a video of but it we now have it.

Jenn:

It is out there.

Jenn:

It's been removed.

Jenn:

If you want to see it in Arlington before it was removed.

Jenn:

We have the video of it on Instagram.

Scott:

we visited Gunny Ermey first, and we've actually talked

Scott:

about him before on this podcast.

Scott:

We don't have to spend too long on him, but I'll, I'll let you kind of start

Scott:

with him and then we'll kind of venture off into some of our other Marines.

Scott:

He's really

Jenn:

Gunny Ermey.

Jenn:

He's wasn't really a gunnery sergeant, but he plays a gunnery sergeant.

Jenn:

So, and that's his most famous role in

Scott:

And he is known even in the Marine Corps as the

Jenn:

the gunny.

Jenn:

So when you hear me say that, sometimes people argue with me.

Jenn:

Well, he wasn't a gunny.

Jenn:

Yes, he was not a gunny sergeant.

Jenn:

Yes, he was in the Marine Corps.

Jenn:

Yes, he was a staff sergeant in the Marine Corps.

Jenn:

But his, he's famous for playing a gunnery sergeant.

Jenn:

So he was born in March of 1944.

Jenn:

He actually passed in April of 2018.

Jenn:

He's buried in one of those far out section.

Jenn:

I think it's a section 82 and he was a U.

Jenn:

S.

Jenn:

Marine drill instructor and he came to fame for his role of the gunnery

Jenn:

sergeant and full metal jacket.

Jenn:

Earned him a Golden Globe and a nomination for, for best supporting actor because

Jenn:

he was hired to be kind of a consultant.

Jenn:

Consultant to the actor who was playing a gunnery sergeant.

Jenn:

And , the actor couldn't get the cadence fast enough.

Jenn:

The insults, you know, the, did the digs good enough?

Scott:

actually been a drill instructor,

Jenn:

had been a drill

Scott:

So, so for those guys, they did it for probably, Two,

Scott:

three years, maybe four, right?

Scott:

So it's, it's second nature to them, right?

Scott:

The insults just come so naturally.

Jenn:

And they'll pick on any little thing, a movement, a

Jenn:

blink, a smile, a sniff, right?

Jenn:

They're able to come right to you and just pick on that thing.

Jenn:

And they're so good at what they're going to say.

Scott:

I think that the clip that I put in from Full Metal Jacket was

Scott:

Gunny Ermey, you know, going up to Private Pyle and saying, Private Pyle,

Scott:

do you expect me to believe you don't know if you're left from your right?

Scott:

And he says, No, sir.

Scott:

He's so you just want to be special, you know, and he just goes right

Scott:

at it's there's no pause there, because that's what they do.

Jenn:

And, you know, I think anybody who's been through any kind of, basic,

Jenn:

you know, or drill camp, you know, it's, and you've made it through,

Jenn:

you kind of have a special place in your heart for your drill instructor.

Jenn:

So for him to play that part and so well, people really liked him in that part

Jenn:

because he was so authentic in that part.

Jenn:

He plays a lot of other roles.

Jenn:

He sometimes got typecast in that authoritative figure role.

Jenn:

Mississippi Burning is one I really liked him in, but he's also done

Jenn:

some comedy, which we really liked and the kids, we told them about Toy

Jenn:

Story, playing Sergeant Toy Story.

Jenn:

We also like him in Saving Silverman,

Scott:

for me, he's in Geico commercials, funny Geico commercials.

Jenn:

What I love most about him and what we want to honor is he was enlisted in

Jenn:

the United States Marine Corps from in 1961 at the age of 17 he went through

Jenn:

boot camp in San Diego, which Scott and I know well, we used to work out

Jenn:

at that base actually and And he was in the Marine Corps, I think, until

Jenn:

1972.

Jenn:

So he served 11 years in the Marine Corps.

Jenn:

And so we really wanted to honor his service and what he did.

Jenn:

He was always so proud of his military service.

Jenn:

He loved being called the Gunny.

Jenn:

He did USO tours.

Jenn:

He always took time to speak with people.

Jenn:

Our post of him on Instagram brings out so many wonderful

Scott:

He is beloved

Jenn:

I even think his daughter, right?

Jenn:

I

Scott:

Yeah, he's so on our second Arlington video, actually our most

Scott:

famous You know, our most viewed video, he's on, he's on the thumbnail, right?

Scott:

It's, it's him and and the other actor and his daughter.

Scott:

I think that's the top pin.

Scott:

I pinned the comment because his daughter commented on our video.

Scott:

She's thank you so much for, for doing this.

Scott:

And we chatted back and forth a little bit.

Scott:

So if you actually want to see his daughter's comments on our

Scott:

video, you can go look that video

Jenn:

Yes, it's it's Ermey and Charles Durning.

Jenn:

And we're, we're honoring basically the movie stars, the actors, the

Jenn:

media influencers at Arlington.

Jenn:

But again, if you want to pay your respects to Ermey, if you visit

Jenn:

Arlington, be prepared for a walk.

Jenn:

He is the, you go in right to the right, furthest section to the right.

Jenn:

But he's definitely worth a

Scott:

Yeah, he's way out there.

Scott:

But it's definitely worth swinging out to section 82.

Jenn:

I just want to hit on Lee Marvin.

Jenn:

Real fast.

Jenn:

Lee Marvin is another actor who we have honored in another one of our videos

Jenn:

but he is also a Marine and Because we stopped at Pappy Boyington who will talk

Jenn:

about more but Lee Marvin was so close We do talk about Lee Marvin pretty quickly.

Scott:

and his grave side is like very close to the tomb in the unknown.

Scott:

Yes.

Jenn:

and right beside Joe

Scott:

Joe Lewis.

Scott:

Joe Lewis.

Scott:

Yep.

Jenn:

so Lee Marvin was a Marine, he joins the Marine Corps in 1942.

Jenn:

He's in the Battle of Saipan.

Jenn:

He gets injured.

Jenn:

He gets injured in the buttocks.

Jenn:

It's it severs his sciatic, but he's awarded the Purple Heart because of that.

Jenn:

And he has a Navy Comendation Medal.

Jenn:

And then he's discharged from the military.

Jenn:

But he's in the Pacific Theater of World War Two.

Jenn:

And he is a very decorated Marine.

Jenn:

And he, was in 20, 21 amphibious assaults on Japanese held islands.

Jenn:

So I just wanted to honor him.

Jenn:

He is a Marine.

Jenn:

Let's not forget, right?

Jenn:

Once a Marine, always a Marine.

Jenn:

He was also proud of his military service and and people still comment about him

Scott:

Yeah, best known for his movie roles and,

Jenn:

oh yeah, Dirty Dozen.

Jenn:

And I always say the man who shot Liberty

Scott:

Jimmy Stewart, right?

Scott:

Great.

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

Great.

Scott:

Great movie.

Scott:

Now you mentioned Pappy Boyington.

Scott:

Yes.

Scott:

So once you, for folks who might kind of be familiar with that

Scott:

name, because it even to me, it sounded a little bit familiar.

Scott:

Who was he?

Jenn:

Boyington was a pilot and he was a Marine Corps pilot, which people probably

Jenn:

would be like, Oh, I thought he was Navy.

Jenn:

No, he's Marine Corps.

Jenn:

And he received the Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross.

Jenn:

He joined the Flying Tigers.

Jenn:

And he was also part of the Black Sheep Squadron, which is BMF 214.

Jenn:

He took command of them in August 14th, 1943.

Jenn:

He in Jan, so he, I, so he.

Jenn:

Imagine he's the commanding officer of the Black Sheep.

Jenn:

About six months later, Boyington, outnumbered by Japanese Zero planes,

Jenn:

was shot down in the Pacific Ocean after downing one of the planes.

Jenn:

He's captured by a Japanese submarine and he was held as a prisoner of

Jenn:

war for more than a year and a half.

Jenn:

And he was released shortly after the surrender of Japan.

Jenn:

So this TV series, Baa Baa Black Sheep, it ran for two seasons in the late 70s.

Jenn:

It was inspired by him and his men of the Black Sheep Squadron.

Jenn:

So it builds this whole idea of these marine pilots who live by their own

Jenn:

rules and are a little, you know, unorthodox, but when it really comes

Jenn:

down to it, are totally awesome.

Jenn:

And

Scott:

he makes some guest appearances in the show.

Jenn:

He does.

Jenn:

And he meets the character playing him as an admiral or an older ranking officer

Jenn:

because he's, he's, he's aged, of course.

Jenn:

So he's his character who plays him meets the real life him.

Jenn:

And we show a clip of that in

Scott:

show a clip of that in the video.

Scott:

him kind of going back in there to kind of have this cameo, not as an,

Scott:

as himself, because he was older.

Scott:

But again, seeing someone who was recognized for his service and the

Scott:

TV show, kind of giving him that nod.

Jenn:

Yes.

Jenn:

And he's also somebody who got winged in Pensacola and then he was a part

Jenn:

of the second Marine aircraft group at San Diego Naval Air Station.

Jenn:

So someone again, who's in the same areas that we were when we were in the

Jenn:

military and then he took part in in different Aircraft carriers at Lexington

Jenn:

and New Yorktown so just somebody, you know people will recognize the name

Jenn:

because he's a medal of honor winner because he was a flying tiger because

Jenn:

he was the commanding officer of The black sheep squadron because he was a

Jenn:

prisoner of war and then there was a TV show made about his squadron This

Jenn:

the man was just larger than life

Scott:

and if you're listening and you're a Marine and you want to go to

Scott:

Arlington because we do get those comments all the time of Oh, I'm always, I've

Scott:

always planned on going to Arlington.

Scott:

Thank you for making these videos.

Scott:

So if you're listening again, I'll recommend when you go

Scott:

or before you go download the , Arlington National Cemetery app.

Scott:

It is incredibly useful.

Scott:

It is like the tool if you're going to do a lot of your own kind of walking around

Scott:

and you're not going to use the tram.

Scott:

So download that.

Scott:

ANC, Alpha November Charlie, Arlington National Cemetery app, and you can plug

Scott:

in the person's name and it'll give you kind of the section, the grave number,

Scott:

and it'll actually kind of give you a GPS map to where that, where that is.

Scott:

So if you ever want to go visit some of these people, that's a

Scott:

great way and a great tool for those of you who are kind of smartphone

Scott:

savvy to go walk around Arlington.

Jenn:

we've used it every time.

Jenn:

It saved us.

Jenn:

I do want to say one more thing about Boyington.

Jenn:

He has a record of shooting down 28 aircraft.

Jenn:

So he beat World War One ace Eddie Rickenbacker's record of 26 with 28.

Jenn:

And that was the same day that he was shot

Scott:

shot down.

Scott:

Yeah, that's, that's wild.

Scott:

I mean, I think you even said on the video he's like a, a five times ace.

Jenn:

Yeah, five times A's because A's I, I remind people is when

Jenn:

you've shot down five planes.

Jenn:

So five times A's is, yeah, he's

Scott:

Now, no, not, well it was a decent, decent ways away.

Scott:

We went over and visited I think it was Ira Hayes next after

Jenn:

we did Ira Hayes next Ira Hayes is somebody we've

Jenn:

really just learned a lot more

Scott:

I think it was our last podcast.

Scott:

We interviewed an author who wrote a whole biography.

Scott:

It's the third biography on Ira Hayes.

Scott:

Go back and listen to that.

Scott:

It's very, very interesting because this author is, is, you know, was.

Scott:

Native American, like Ira Hayes was, and so kind of looked at Ira Hayes

Scott:

through a little bit of a different lens than some of the past biographies.

Scott:

So I encourage you to go back to listen to that if you're interested

Scott:

in learning more about Ira Hayes.

Scott:

But what did we learn and what did we talk about in the video?

Jenn:

Ira Hayes, first of all, first and foremost, I want everyone to

Jenn:

know that he is the sixth man on the raising of the flag of Iwo Jima.

Jenn:

So that iconic photograph that was used to make the monument, the Marine Corps

Jenn:

monument and memorial, the sixth man in the back pushing up the flagpole

Jenn:

is Ira Hayes and his grave is off the beaten path and very unassuming.

Jenn:

And I don't even think it's part of the tram tour.

Jenn:

I just want him to have a little bit more of a presence, I feel, in Arlington

Jenn:

because what he's what he did and what he's remembered for, and we'll talk

Jenn:

about the memorial at the end because we took the kids there, it's such an

Jenn:

impressive memorial and he is on it.

Jenn:

It's just something that I think needs to be kind of uh,

Jenn:

celebrated a little bit more.

Jenn:

But Ira Hayes, Ira Hamilton Hayes was born in January of 1923.

Jenn:

He passes away in January of 1955.

Jenn:

And like you said, he was an American Indian from Arizona, and

Jenn:

he's a Marine in World War II.

Jenn:

He

Scott:

he's generally known as

Jenn:

He's generally known as one of the six men of the raising of

Jenn:

the flag at Iwo Jima, the famous photograph by Joe Rosenthal.

Jenn:

And remember, this flag was raised over Mount Suribachi on February 23rd, 1945.

Jenn:

And I think I kind of explain it in the video where there was two flag raisings.

Jenn:

Remember, the first one was smaller.

Jenn:

And when the commanding officer comes on board to Iwo Jima Island.

Jenn:

He sees it and he wants it.

Jenn:

And so they get a bigger ensign and they put up a second one and he's

Jenn:

part of that second photograph, the second raising, although they do

Jenn:

believe he was a part of both of them.

Jenn:

And I remind people as well, there's no flag pole on the ship.

Jenn:

It's not like they, let's bring extra flag poles with us.

Jenn:

So this is a pipe, like a regular that is probably like 10 times

Jenn:

the weight, 20 times the weight.

Jenn:

So when you're thinking like, why does it take six men to raise this

Scott:

This is a big, long, heavy

Jenn:

pipe.

Jenn:

Yeah.

Jenn:

So that's why it's taking six men to raise it up.

Jenn:

And he, he comes home after the raising of Iwo Jima.

Jenn:

He participates in a like a, a tour to raise funds, war bonds, and he's

Jenn:

instrumental in helping to identify the other men in the photograph.

Jenn:

And he, he really is a part of that loan drive fundraising as well in 1946.

Scott:

And he, I mean, he actually becomes pretty famous.

Jenn:

He does.

Jenn:

He does a song written about him, of course, by Johnny Cash,

Jenn:

but he, he's in the movie, Sands of Iwo Jima with John Wayne.

Jenn:

And John Wayne hands him the ensign with two other actors to put the flag up

Scott:

we show that clip in the video,

Jenn:

Jima.

Jenn:

He's the subject of another movie called The Outsider with Tony

Jenn:

Curtis, who plays Ira Hayes we talk about this in our other podcast.

Jenn:

Tony Curtis is not an American Indian.

Jenn:

So the type of makeup and you could call it red face, but this

Jenn:

is another conversation for film and Hollywood and things like that.

Jenn:

But he's inspired many books.

Jenn:

He, The Flag of Our Fathers by Clint Eastwood is a movie.

Jenn:

He's in that movie.

Jenn:

There's a book based on that as well.

Scott:

he was actually at the dedication of the memorial.

Scott:

So,

Jenn:

when they dedicate the memorial.

Jenn:

In Arlington on November 10th, 1954, he's standing there with the

Jenn:

president dedicating the memorial.

Jenn:

He will pass away that January, so two months later.

Scott:

And,

Jenn:

We talk about this more if you want to listen to the other podcast about his

Jenn:

his life and specifically post traumatic stress and specifically how he Medicates

Jenn:

self medicates himself with alcohol and ultimately he dies of exposure After a

Jenn:

night of drinking and so we really want to clear the author wanted to clear up just

Jenn:

the misconceptions about his life and how he's kind of written off as an alcoholic

Jenn:

or written off as a drunk Indian and Just make sure he gets the credit he deserves.

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

The, the author Tom Hol, who we interviewed, again, writing

Scott:

this biography, they sent us the biography ahead of time.

Scott:

We got a chance to kind of look through it briefly and then talk to the author.

Scott:

Does a very good job about kind of talking about Ira Hayes and kind of who he really

Scott:

was and who his people really were.

Scott:

So highly encourage you to go back and check that out.

Scott:

So who did we visit after that?

Jenn:

So I, I'm pretty sure we went to section 60 after that

Scott:

I think so.

Jenn:

and it was very special a, we're going to honor a woman Marine section

Jenn:

60 as I remind people is one of the largest sections in Arlington is actually

Jenn:

one of the most active sections in Arlington, still has active burials.

Jenn:

Today, but it's because it's a younger generation and so Megan McClung is

Jenn:

the first female United States Marine Corps officer killed in combat during

Jenn:

Iraq and she was serving as a public affairs officer when she was killed.

Jenn:

She's also the first graduate female graduate of the Naval

Jenn:

Academy to be killed in combat.

Jenn:

So She was born in 1972.

Jenn:

She's killed December 6th, 2006.

Jenn:

And what was very interesting about visiting Major Megan McClung's grave

Jenn:

is right in front of her grave was another woman visiting her son.

Jenn:

And I got to have a conversation with her.

Jenn:

She visits her son every Veteran's Day, his birthday.

Jenn:

She sits out there with him.

Jenn:

He was only in the military for six months when he was killed.

Jenn:

He enlisted right out of high

Scott:

See, Army, Marine?

Scott:

I can't remember.

Scott:

I think it was Army.

Scott:

I

Jenn:

it was Army, because we were having a discussion about the Army Navy game.

Scott:

That's right.

Scott:

That's right.

Scott:

Yeah, she was, she kept saying Beat Navy.

Scott:

Yes,

Jenn:

but I want to remind people, if you go to Arlington and you do encounter

Jenn:

a family, it is okay to ask, talk about their lives, because they do want to

Jenn:

honor their loved ones and talk about their lives and not be forgotten.

Scott:

I will say, when we were there this time, I saw more

Scott:

families, and I saw the range, right?

Scott:

I was very, I appreciated the, the lady that you were talking

Scott:

to because she was very open.

Scott:

She was very, she was more than willing to chat.

Scott:

She was there just kind of enjoying.

Scott:

It was actually a pretty nice, a decent day.

Scott:

But there were other spots.

Scott:

And I think I saw more in section 60 than in any, which kind of makes sense.

Scott:

There were some families that were.

Scott:

And it

Jenn:

who was in the midst of having their moment with their person, but as

Jenn:

someone who's going to put a chair and sit for a little while and you happen

Jenn:

to be walking by, I think it's, it's more than I think it's respectful if

Jenn:

you want to ask about the loved one.

Scott:

was neat too, as we were walking around, and I think it was more in

Scott:

Section 60 than some of the others, is we saw the Marine Corps flags.

Jenn:

Yes.

Jenn:

So, there were so many.

Jenn:

And that's when I realized, oh, they must have put all these flags for the

Jenn:

Marines because the day before was the anniversary of the Marine Corps birthday.

Scott:

so think of the little red Marine

Jenn:

Mm hmm.

Scott:

yellow gold, you know, eagle, globe, and

Jenn:

anchor.

Jenn:

November 10th, 1775, Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, which is always a

Jenn:

joke, that of course the Marine Corps would be established in a bar, right?

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

That's classic.

Jenn:

And that's what I loved about Major McClung's grave, is it, it had her

Jenn:

motto on there, which was like, be brief.

Jenn:

Be gone, be strong, be brief, be gone or something like

Scott:

that.

Scott:

Be brief, be bold, be

Jenn:

Yes, and I said, there's nothing that reminds me more what

Jenn:

a Marine would say than be gone.

Jenn:

And Scott and I have served with a lot of Marines.

Jenn:

So Scott and I met on the USS Tarawa, which is a Marine Corps platform ship.

Jenn:

It's a Marine Corps transport ship.

Jenn:

And so the Tarawa is named after battle of the Tarawa in the Pacific,

Jenn:

which is a Marine Corps battle.

Jenn:

And so.

Jenn:

on that ship there'd be about a thousand navy and two thousand marines and that's

Jenn:

how they we transport them and it's a flat deck amphibious boat so we've

Jenn:

spent our time with a lot of marines

Scott:

still have good friends that are

Jenn:

we have very good friends and be gone is probably something i would never

Jenn:

second guess the marine saying to me

Scott:

That's right, that's right.

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

It was it was, it was quite the visit and, and I, I really did, did enjoy it.

Jenn:

So what was so interesting is as Scott and I are driving to Arlington

Jenn:

and I'm looking up, Hey, you know, let's pick some really popular Marines to, to

Jenn:

honor at Arlington and John Glenn pops up and I'm like, John Glenn was a Marine.

Jenn:

And Scott was like, he was, and I'm like, Oh my gosh.

Jenn:

Yeah.

Jenn:

John Glenn, astronaut John Glenn was an American Marine Corps aviator.

Jenn:

And actually he was most proud of that than being an astronaut.

Scott:

I was, I was so surprised because you kind of, you kind of

Scott:

boast about it all the time, right?

Scott:

A lot of astronauts are Navy pilots, right?

Scott:

A lot of them are.

Scott:

So I just assumed, I had assumed for forever that he had been a Navy pilot.

Scott:

And learning that he, he was a Marine was really neat.

Jenn:

Yeah.

Jenn:

So John Herschel Glenn, born in July of 1921, he passed December 8th,

Jenn:

day before my birthday in 2016, was an American Marine Corps aviator.

Jenn:

Astronaut, businessman, and politician.

Jenn:

He was the third American in space and the first American to orbit the

Jenn:

earth, circling it three times in 1962.

Jenn:

Now he was a distinguished fighter pilot in World War II and he shot down three

Jenn:

MiGs and was awarded six distinguished flying crosses and 18 air medals.

Jenn:

He was also a test pilot.

Jenn:

And that is what made him look good for the Mercury 7 program and become

Jenn:

one of NASA's first astronauts.

Scott:

kind of the path for pilots.

Scott:

That's typically like they, if, if they go to be a test pilot, then they kind

Scott:

of have that, that check in the box.

Scott:

Yes.

Scott:

For potential

Jenn:

Yes.

Jenn:

So that's on February 20th, 1962 is when he flew the friendship

Jenn:

seven mission, becoming the first American to orbit the earth.

Jenn:

And if you see in the movie hidden figures, he's.

Jenn:

He's played by the character who wants to make sure the

Jenn:

numbers are checking out right.

Jenn:

And so what I appreciate about that is, yes, we've talked about

Jenn:

a lot of astronauts will be Navy or Marine Corps pilots because

Jenn:

you're landing on a carrier.

Jenn:

And because you're landing on a carrier, you're so precise and dialed in and

Jenn:

that's what they want you to be.

Jenn:

If you're flying the space shuttle and as a test pilot, you're flying

Jenn:

so many different air platforms.

Jenn:

You're learning all these different nuances about size and wingspan and

Jenn:

power, and you're able to adapt quickly and understand what's happening with

Jenn:

your aircraft, that they want that kind of pilot again in the space

Jenn:

shuttle in case there's a problem.

Jenn:

Even when you think of the Friendship 7.

Jenn:

And it orbits three times.

Jenn:

I think it was supposed to orbit more than that, but because they

Jenn:

were having some issues with heat, they had brought him in early.

Scott:

I didn't know that.

Jenn:

And so you have to be kind of quickly adaptable.

Jenn:

And that's kind of the Marine Corps

Scott:

Yeah, that, that one was kind of one of the neater ones for me on this

Scott:

particular trip because I absolutely knew who that was and I was just

Scott:

absolutely surprised to learn that he was a Marine, but so it was pretty neat.

Jenn:

Well, we made sure the kids took a picture with his grave and he's

Jenn:

very close to the Tomb of the Unknown.

Jenn:

Like I could see Audie Murphy's grave from him.

Jenn:

I can see the Tomb of the Unknown from him.

Jenn:

So if you're visiting the Tomb of the Unknown, John Glenn is right there.

Scott:

After we visited John Glenn, finally, the President Biden had

Scott:

So his whole entourage has left.

Scott:

So we were able to actually, we actually took some really cool

Scott:

pictures up by the Tomb of the Unknown.

Scott:

Not right in there, but just kind of around it.

Scott:

So that got done.

Scott:

So we were able to kind of get over, like you said, to Audie Murphy's

Scott:

grave and kind of visit him real, real quickly and stuff like that.

Scott:

But then one of the things that we wanted to do, because I had never been

Scott:

there, was get to the Iwo Jima Memorial.

Jenn:

And boy was it impressive.

Scott:

I, I was so I don't know what to, I, I'd seen plenty of pictures, and I,

Scott:

I didn't really have any expectations, and you had run the Marine Corps Marathon

Scott:

twice, so you'd, you'd been there, but I, we got there, and you park kind of

Scott:

around it, and then you kind of walk up, and there's this whole field from where

Scott:

the parking is, and you can see the Iwo Jima Memorial, and I was flabbergasted.

Scott:

It's huge.

Jenn:

and it's

Scott:

massive.

Scott:

I mean, you, the, Go watch our video because I, I try to get some really

Scott:

wide shots basically from the parking lot area and you see how small

Scott:

the people are walking up to it.

Scott:

I was, I was so impressed and the sky was blue and beautiful and

Scott:

the wind was blowing so the flag was, it was just so picturesque.

Scott:

I was like, you know, as a videographer, amateur

Scott:

videographer, I was just in heaven.

Scott:

You know, out there.

Scott:

And we got kind of like a really great picture of you

Scott:

and I in front of the memorial.

Scott:

It was so impressive.

Jenn:

So we use that picture for the Walk with History Christmas card.

Jenn:

It is a 360 monument and it is beautiful on that highest peak.

Jenn:

And that's why when you run the Marine Corps Marathon,

Jenn:

it's that last 2 of your 26.

Jenn:

2 miles is up the hill to the Iwo Jima Memorial because it is so motivational.

Jenn:

Then at the end, like I said, it was dedicated in 1954 and it says

Jenn:

on it to all Marines who have given their lives in defense of the U.

Jenn:

S.

Jenn:

since 1775.

Jenn:

And I even think it says to all the men of the Marine Corps.

Jenn:

Which I talk about because I appreciate that it says that and they haven't

Jenn:

changed it because in the military as a woman They're not gonna update

Jenn:

all the regs and all the stuff.

Jenn:

You just assume when they say Serviceman or it's you you're a part of that.

Jenn:

I never I never batted an eye, I would have so many people

Jenn:

call me, sir, by mistake.

Jenn:

And I never, I just don't sweat it.

Jenn:

It's not a big deal.

Jenn:

Cause you just get used to, so used to saying it.

Jenn:

And so I just always encompassed myself when it says men, I'm a part of that.

Jenn:

It's inspired by that iconic photograph of the six Marines.

Jenn:

Like I said, Ira Hayes is the last one in the back, So I wanted to

Jenn:

make sure that people understand.

Jenn:

It's one of the only few places that is designated to fly the

Jenn:

American flag 24 hours a day.

Jenn:

And it's required, it's officially required.

Jenn:

And JFK wrote that into law in June of 1961, and that's why

Jenn:

it'll always be lit as well.

Scott:

Oh, is that

Jenn:

Mm-Hmm.

Jenn:

. So if you see it at night, it's always gonna have the light on the flag and

Jenn:

the flag will always be flying over it.

Jenn:

So I think that's so

Scott:

It was so cool and it has all the names of kind of all the The wars and

Scott:

that kind of the famous, you know battles that they've been in like engraved all

Scott:

around the monument And it's it really is kind of hard to put into words.

Scott:

It's it's not the same Seeing it in a video, seeing it in

Scott:

a picture, as being there.

Scott:

It's not the same.

Scott:

Being there in person is a completely different experience.

Jenn:

picture, it's not the same.

Jenn:

Being there in person, it would completely be different.

Scott:

it only takes 10 minutes because you're driving around D.

Scott:

C.

Scott:

And driving around D.

Scott:

C.

Scott:

is It is awful.

Scott:

I'm sorry Jen knows and if you've listened to this podcast and I

Scott:

talk about driving around DC.

Scott:

I hate driving around there It's it's brutal, but absolutely worth it.

Scott:

If you're out there make the trip.

Scott:

Thank you for Joining us on our journey of remembrance today Where

Scott:

we explored the courage, sacrifice, and indomitable spirit of the Marines

Scott:

who left their mark on history.

Scott:

Whether it was flying high above the earth, or bravery resulting in one

Scott:

of World War II's most iconic flag raising photographs, these heroes will

Scott:

never be forgotten for their service.

Scott:

And again, thank you for listening to the Talk With History podcast and please reach

Scott:

out to us at our website, TalkWithHistory.

Scott:

com, but more importantly, if you know someone else that might enjoy this

Scott:

podcast, please share it with them, especially if you think today's topic

Scott:

would interest a friend, all you Marines out there, all you military out there.

Scott:

Text this episode to your marine buddies and tell him to look us up

Scott:

We rely on you our community to grow and we appreciate you all every day.

Scott:

We'll talk to you next

Jenn:

to you next time.