The USS Barry has been a prominent sight on the Anacostia River for the last 31 years, but it is soon to be turned into scrap. That’s because it is becoming land-locked once construction starts on the replacement for the nearby Frederick Douglass Bridge. The current bridge has a swing span that will open to let tall ships out, but the new bridge will be just 50 feet tall, and the USS Barry is 150 feet tall. It can’t just be left to rot where it is, and keeping it repaired isn’t possible without being able to haul it to a shipyard.
The USS Barry was active between 1954 and 1982, serving in both the Atlantic and Pacific fleets, and being part of the blockade in the Cuban Missile Crisis. The USS Barry was one of 18 Forrest Sherman class destroyers manufactured. Three of them remain as museum ships; the others were sunk in training exercises or turned into scrap.
Here are some photos of the U.S.S. Barry taken in the late afternoon a couple of weeks ago:
Catharsis on the Mall: A Vigil for Healing the Drug War was a two-day ceremony on the grounds of the Washington Monument. The highlight was the burning of the Temple of Essence.
The temple was the work of Michael Verdon. Here is how the temple looked when it was finished and getting ready to be burned:
On the temple were LED lights which blinked at the rate of drug arrests in the U.S. Here is the top of the temple, against an early-rising moon:
The sides and inside of the temple were decorated by people who had been harmed in the drug wars
To start the ceremony of burning, fire dancers performed:
The temple quickly went up in flames when it was lit
As the temple burned, the sides fell down, revealing some of the words that had been written on the walls:
After the outside walls fell down, the inside revealed a symbolic jail cell:
As the temple burned to the ground, it set up flames of sparks which lit the Washington Monument.
The new National Museum of African American History and Culture had its first event last night. Commemorate and Celebrate Freedom was a ceremony to kick off the countdown to the museum’s opening next fall.
The view of the building was partially blocked by the construction equipment and the grandstand for the invited guests for the ceremony, but the projections were still amazingly powerful, and surprising how well the projections worked on the copper lattice panels. The crowd enjoyed the view from the hillside outside of the construction enclosure.
The video projection was created by Quixotic Entertainment collaborating with documentary filmmaker Stanley J. Nelson. Prior to the video projection, there were speeches by the museum director Lonnie Bunch III, Mayor Muriel Bowser, and delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, plus singing by Bebe Winans and other music and poetry readings. Here is Muriel Bowser projected on one of the large video screens:
Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, is celebrated on November 1st, in ceremonies remembering and reverencing lost family members and friends. In D.C., the festival was in Lamont Park in Mount Pleasant. Here are scenes from it:
I went with a group from D.C. Focused, and we had a challenge to take at least three photos that were carefully framed in the camera and not cropped afterwards. This was a real challenge for me, because I often crop heavily. The first five shots above are uncropped. The last five are back to my normal practice of cropping to get the image I want.