As I've been traveling the back roads and small towns of America, I've been noticing old decommissioned war machines placed on display in parks, cemeteries, and memorials. I just find it strange that these instruments of death are now used to remember those lost, and for our kids to play on.
Nike-Hercules Missile Monument, St. Augustine Pass, Hwy 70, near
Las Cruces, New Mexico. These Nuclear-armed missiles were
developed during the Cold War to destroy enemy bombers and enemy
bomber formations, but could also be used in a surface-to-surface
role, although with a limited range.
Navy A-7 Corsair II carrier-based Jet, on display at Navy
Park, New Century Air Center, near Gardner, Kansas. This attack
aircraft was deployed in 1967 during the Vietnam War.
I'm pretty sure this is a Sherman Tank, with swingset and gazebo,
at Brink Memorial Park in Lyons, Nebraska. The M4 Sherman was the
tank primarily used by the United States during World War II,
with over 50,000 being produced.
Republic F-84F Thunderstreak, formerly on display in front of
the Washington County Veterans Memorial Airport, in Washington
County, Kansas. Almost 3500 of these were produced by Republic
Aviation, and were in service from 1954-1972 by the U.S. Air Force,
and until 1991 by the Greek Air Force.
The 7-inch caliber, 11 foot long, and 8500 pound canon in its
final resting spot at this Hiawatha, Kansas cemetery. The canon
was secured by the local G.A.R. (Grand Army of The Republic)
post in August of 1899. It was cast in 1856, and rounded Cape
Horn on its way to San Francisco during the Spanish American War
before ending up in Kansas. The Grand Army of The Republic,
by the way, was a fraternal organization composed of veterans
of the Union Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marines, and U.S. Revenue
Cutter Service (precursor to the Coast Guard) who served in the
American Civil War. Founded in 1866, it was dissolved in 1956
when the last member died.
Polaris missile at Centennial Park, Lawrence, Kansas. This
submarine-launched rocket has been on display since being
donated to the city by the Lawrence Navy League in 1964
as a tribute to members of the U.S. Military who served
during the cold war.
Tanks for the motor oil, Santa. A rather odd tableaux, and
another Sherman tank in Nebraska - this one is on the court house
lawn in Tecumseh. I guess local citizens have a good reason for
wanting protection - in 1987 the town was taken over by the Soviets
in the ABC miniseries Amerika, which was filmed in the area.