Wednesday, August 20, 2014

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - 25th Wedding Anniversary

This photo, very clearly labeled, identifies my great grandparents 25th wedding anniversary. Charles and Margaret Lowry were married on August 22, 1922 in Leetonia, Ohio by Father D.B. Kirby in Saint Patrick Catholic Church. In 1947, they were happily married for 25 years and celebrated with my grandfather and their only son, Chuck, who was 22 years old at the time.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - John Connor

John A. Connor was my 2nd great grand uncle, and the husband of Anna E Lowry. Anna was one of Michael Lowry's (1830 - 1928) daughters. John was born in 1858 in Ireland and arrived through New York City on 11 Nov 1873. He married Anna in 1875 and they lived the remainder of their lives in New Castle, Pennsylvania. Together they had seven children. John died in 1907 and is buried in Saint Mary's Cemetery in New Castle. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

We interrupt this broadcast...

I've been pretty lax posting to the blog lately, and actually I haven't done much genealogy at all of late. Aside from participating in one webinar and reading a few genealogy articles, I've done little to further my own research in the last month. While I have a four month old at home, the current cause of my near abandonment of this hobby is work. My boss recently moved on and a replacement hasn't been named, so for the last three months I've been doing two jobs and will for the foreseeable future.

While I didn't used to sit at work all day and do genealogy, I did use downtime in the office to sketch out blog posts and ideas for research. I have nearly zero downtime now so it's a lot harder than it used to be. I love this blog and genealogy in general, so I will certainly find a way to carve out some time to post some new family tidbits. Just don't be surprised if you don't see them as often as you used to.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Military Monday - Basic Training Graduation Photos

My grandfather Chuck Lowry graduated in 1944 as one of 800,000 new soldiers to complete Army Basic Training at Camp Blanding in Jacksonville, Florida. As is common still today, graduates of 'basic' take a formal portrait. It's a chance to show off for parents and loved ones far away in a sharp looking Army uniform. Sadly, it's the same photo we often see in the newspaper when a soldier is killed in action. My grandfather survived (barely) his combat experience in Northern France but had these two photos taken at Camp Blanding.

In this set of photos, he is shown wearing the uniform of a recruit private. His uniform includes the patch of the Army Training Command as well as the Marksmanship Qualification Badge, including Sharpshooter qualifications with a rifle, carbine and one additional weapon that can't be read. He would go on to earn the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Combat Infantry Badge, campaign medals for the European-African-Middle Eastern Theater (with one service star) and American Campaign and the World War II Victory Medal.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Mystery Monday - The Nameless Nurse

A photo of this woman was in a collection of Lowry and Pepperney family photos from the late 1910's and early 1920's but she was unidentified. Was she a nurse during World War I or in the years after? I don't have any answers here but maybe you do. If so, please share in the comments. Thanks!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Cemetery Sunday - A Visit to Arlington National Cemetery

My uncle Tom Witt was in Washington, D.C. for work and wanted to make a point to visit Arlington National Cemetery. As I had not been there in some time, I felt it would make a great time to catch up with him and visit America's most hallowed ground.

Arlington National Cemetery sits on 624 acres and is the final resting place of 400,000 war casualties and veterans. Included in the latter group is my great uncle, Francis Witt Jr. Francis was an Air Force officer who served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. I've previously written about his evasion and escape after being shot down in 1944 here.

My uncle, and later joined by my wife, son and mother-in-law, spend three hours walking around the cemetery, pausing at interesting or well-known individuals and honoring the unknown Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen with a stop at the Tomb of the Unknown.

Headstone of my great uncle Francis Witt's grave.

The back of the headstone records the birth and death of his wife Mary Lou, buried with him.

My uncle Tom is here digging for a stone to leave on the top of Francis's grave.

Francis had a brother Fred who served in the Marines during World War II, but this isn't him. Ironically, this unrelated Fred is buried just a few rows away from Francis in the same section.

The date of death of Lt. McKamey was striking: June 6, 1944 is D-Day. A Google search revealed that his B-26 Marauder was shot down while on a bombing run to weaken the German forces in the area of Utah Beach. The entire crew was killed.

This entire section contains unknown soldiers from the Civil War.

General Ostermann was awarded the Medal of Honor for his role in the 1915 invasion of Haiti. He retired from the Marine Corps as a Major General in 1943, in part because he was not given a combat command during World War II.

America's most decorated soldier. Ever.

The American flag flies inside the Memorial Amphitheater, located behind the Tomb of the Unknown. I have been to Arlington National Cemetery numerous times but had never seen the wonderful exhibit inside the Amphitheater. 

The Tomb of the Unknown

The memorial of the seven astronauts lost when the Space Shuttle Columbia broke apart during reentry in 2003.

This panoramic shot captures the memorials to the Space Shuttle Challenger, the loss of American airmen in Operation Eagle Claw in 1980, and the Space Shuttle Columbia.

The grave of Commander Dick Scobee, who was lost in the Challenger disaster.

The mast of the U.S.S. Maine. The 'Maine' exploded in Havana harbor in 1898 and led in part to the Spanish-American War.

"Ask not what your country can do for you..." Part of the memorial wall around JFK's grave.

The gang after a hot morning walking around Arlington.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Four Generations Once Again

I love photos showing four generations of my family. There are quite a few collecting on the blog here, here, here, here, and here. This is another taken two weeks ago at the baptism of my son. My grandmother Barb Viti is holding her great grandson Brendan Lowry with my mom and me on either side. I will feature Brendan's baptism in an upcoming blog post.

Click to enlarge
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