Monday, March 17, 2014

Previously unseen pictures from my deployment to Iraq

As it is my two year deployment anniversary, I decided to pull out some of the pictures I never shared on this blog. Above is the famous Hands of Victory in Baghdad, Iraq. For most of my deployment, I was stationed on Victory Base Complex, but I was able to visit the International Zone in downtown Baghdad near the end of my deployment. Part of that visit included a short tour around the International Zone, which brought me to the Hands of Victory.

To backtrack just a bit, I thought I should mention that we were driving around the International Zone in an up-armored Volkswagen Jetta. The Jetta looked like any other Jetta but the doors were deceptively thick and heavy. Also, the front windshield was cracked and when viewed at an angle, showed the thickness of the ballistic glass. As our driver first started up the Jetta, dust came flying out of the A/C vents which were set to high. The four of us pushed the doors open as quickly as possible and did combat rolls out of the Jetta.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Shimer Graves in Old Zionsville Cemetery, PA

Old Zionsville Cemetery

Old Zionsville Cemetery is located less than a mile from Shimerville, Pa. John Seip Shimer and his decedents are the namesakes of Shimerville and many of those decedents are buried at Old Zionsville.

"At a beautiful elevation on King's Highway, the road leading from Macungie to Philadelphia, a one-acre plot of land was donated by Peter Hittel on May 20, 1757. The first pastor of Zion's Lutheran Church was undoubtedly the Rev. J. M. Schafer, and the records were opened with the baptism of John Nicolaus, son of Heinrich and Eva Hertzel. Rev. J. F. Schertlein then became pastor, during which the log church was built and a cemetery established in November of 1758. The oldest known grave in the cemetery is that of Johann Jacob Agster, who was born Aug. 13, 1768 and died June 17, 1793."

The older headstones were made from limestone, which is quarried in the area. Limestone and marble are used as headstones because they are easily carved but are dissolved over time.