William The Coroner’s Forensic Files

Friday, 11, November, 2011

Over The Hills and Far Away

Filed under: In Memoriam — williamthecoroner @ 01:01

Ye boys and girls that have a mind.
To leave your troubles far behind.
Enlist and take a soldiers’ pay.
Go over the hills and far away!

We’ll fight in dry Afghanistan,
To keep the peace in foreign lands.
Learn the real soldiers’ way,
Go over the hills and far away!

Come and join the infantry,
Where the real soldiers fight, you’ll see.
Our comrades we will not betray,
Over the hills and far away.

It’s safe at home; we’d rather stay,
Watch our children grow and play.
We owe the crown, so now we’ll pay,
We’re over the hills and far away.

Over the hills we’ll march today,
And The Queen has called so we obey.
We’ll stand our ground and here we’ll stay.
Over the hills and far away!

The politicians sleep at night,
While out here we will stand and fight.
English, French, we’re brothers all,
Remember us if here we fall?

Over the hills we’ll march today,
The Queen has called so we obey.
We’ll stand our ground and here we’ll stay..
Over the hills and far away!

Over the hills we’ll march today,
The Queen has called so we obey.
We’ll stand our ground and here we’ll stay.
Over the hills and far away!

Tuesday, 20, September, 2011

Speaking of Tattoos

Filed under: In Memoriam — williamthecoroner @ 22:14

Unknown CASEVAC, but I think it speaks for itself.

Monday, 6, June, 2011


Filed under: History,In Memoriam — williamthecoroner @ 08:06

On 6 June 1944, Allied forces landed in Normandy to open up a second front in the European theater.  Many, many men were killed that day, and deserve remembering.

Friday, 3, June, 2011

Jack Kevorkian is Dead

Filed under: Forensics,In Memoriam — williamthecoroner @ 16:07

Not by his own hand, apparently.  He was also a pathologist, never published much (like I should talk) and I am not comfortable with his actions on assisted suicide; he appeared (to me) to be more self-aggrandizing than really interested in helping people not suffer.  But I can completely get behind this quote:

Kevorkian’s third stated mission was to convince Americans that their rights are being infringed upon by bans on everything from smoking to assisted suicide.

Yep.  I’m with you on that one.

Monday, 30, May, 2011

Memorial Day

Filed under: In Memoriam — williamthecoroner @ 09:23

The dead soldier’s silence sings our national anthem. -Rev. Aaron Kilbourn

Monday, 9, May, 2011

Somebody’s Shipmate UPDATE

Filed under: Circle Game,In Memoriam — williamthecoroner @ 09:03

I learned of Chief Hannah from Neptunus Lex.  I thought the word should get out, and I’m using Lex’s own words, he’s better at it than I am.

John D. Hannah served his country honorably. Retired as a senior chief petty officer. Went back home to Illinois

His wife died, he took it hard. Dropped out of life as it is normally lived. Helped out at with chores at a homeless shelter in Detroit, in exchange for a vinyl mat to sleep on. Smoked, got lung cancer, died. Utterly alone, and unclaimed:

His body lies alone in a cooled room in the Gates of Heaven Funeral Home in Detroit, thanks to the grace of its 66-year-old owner, Joseph Norris, who said, “My heart told me I had to do this.”

Norris is keeping Hannah unburied, in a donated coffin, until someone from his family, some brother, sister, child, uncle, cousin — even a friend — comes forward to say they knew him.

For two weeks, no one has, despite Hannah’s years of service in the Navy, despite an honorable discharge, despite calls and a letter to the U.S. Military Retirement Pay Division. Bureaucracy and privacy concerns (ironic for a man whom no one has claimed) bog down the process.

Meanwhile, Hannah’s corpse remains unvisited. Surely, there is someone reading this who knew him? A man can’t simply die in the state where he was raised, in the city where he lived and have no one to stand by his coffin, can he?

I don’t think I ever met him. But somebody did. Maybe not you, shipmates. But maybe someone you knew. Or someone they knew.

Someone who can help. Ask around.

UPDATE:  They located Senior Chief John Hannah’s brother, and are working on arranging a proper burial at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center.

Saturday, 7, May, 2011

Michael Murphy DDG 112

Filed under: In Memoriam — williamthecoroner @ 22:04

The USS Lt. Michael Murphy, DDG 112 was launched at BIW today.  Murphy was a SEAL killed in Afghanistan in 2005, killed while calling in an airstrike to protect his fellow SEALs.  This would have been his 35th birthday, he was killed in Operation Red Wings when he was 29.  More information here.

Information about the christening here. BIW information is HERE

I lived in Maine, and was able to see two launchings.  It is really, really impressive seeing such a huge thing go into the water and float freely, and it’s even more impressive when it doesn’t whack into the bridge over the Kennebec River.

Tuesday, 19, April, 2011

Concord Hymn

Filed under: History,In Memoriam,Poetry — williamthecoroner @ 09:01

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.

The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.

On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set to-day a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.

Spirit, that made those spirits dare,
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.

Monday, 18, April, 2011

Paul Revere’s Ride

Filed under: History,In Memoriam — williamthecoroner @ 09:01

Listen my children and you shall hear

Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,

On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;

Hardly a man is now alive

Who remembers that famous day and year.

He said to his friend, “If the British march

By land or sea from the town to-night,

Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch

Of the North Church tower as a signal light,–

One if by land, and two if by sea;

And I on the opposite shore will be,

Ready to ride and spread the alarm

Through every Middlesex village and farm,

For the country folk to be up and to arm.”

Then he said “Good-night!” and with muffled oar

Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,

Just as the moon rose over the bay,

Where swinging wide at her moorings lay

The Somerset, British man-of-war;

A phantom ship, with each mast and spar

Across the moon like a prison bar,

And a huge black hulk, that was magnified

By its own reflection in the tide.

Meanwhile, his friend through alley and street

Wanders and watches, with eager ears,

Till in the silence around him he hears

The muster of men at the barrack door,

The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet,

And the measured tread of the grenadiers,

Marching down to their boats on the shore.

Then he climbed the tower of the Old North Church,

By the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,

To the belfry chamber overhead,

And startled the pigeons from their perch

On the sombre rafters, that round him made

Masses and moving shapes of shade,–

By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,

To the highest window in the wall,

Where he paused to listen and look down

A moment on the roofs of the town

And the moonlight flowing over all.

Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead,

In their night encampment on the hill,

Wrapped in silence so deep and still

That he could hear, like a sentinel’s tread,

The watchful night-wind, as it went

Creeping along from tent to tent,

And seeming to whisper, “All is well!”

A moment only he feels the spell

Of the place and the hour, and the secret dread

Of the lonely belfry and the dead;

For suddenly all his thoughts are bent

On a shadowy something far away,

Where the river widens to meet the bay,–

A line of black that bends and floats

On the rising tide like a bridge of boats.

Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,

Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride

On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.

Now he patted his horse’s side,

Now he gazed at the landscape far and near,

Then, impetuous, stamped the earth,

And turned and tightened his saddle girth;

But mostly he watched with eager search

The belfry tower of the Old North Church,

As it rose above the graves on the hill,

Lonely and spectral and sombre and still.

And lo! as he looks, on the belfry’s height

A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!

He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns,

But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight

A second lamp in the belfry burns.

A hurry of hoofs in a village street,

A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,

And beneath, from the pebbles, in passing, a spark

Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet;

That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light,

The fate of a nation was riding that night;

And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,

Kindled the land into flame with its heat.

He has left the village and mounted the steep,

And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,

Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides;

And under the alders that skirt its edge,

Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,

Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.

It was twelve by the village clock

When he crossed the bridge into Medford town.

He heard the crowing of the cock,

And the barking of the farmer’s dog,

And felt the damp of the river fog,

That rises after the sun goes down.

It was one by the village clock,

When he galloped into Lexington.

He saw the gilded weathercock

Swim in the moonlight as he passed,

And the meeting-house windows, black and bare,

Gaze at him with a spectral glare,

As if they already stood aghast

At the bloody work they would look upon.

It was two by the village clock,

When he came to the bridge in Concord town.

He heard the bleating of the flock,

And the twitter of birds among the trees,

And felt the breath of the morning breeze

Blowing over the meadow brown.

And one was safe and asleep in his bed

Who at the bridge would be first to fall,

Who that day would be lying dead,

Pierced by a British musket ball.

You know the rest. In the books you have read

How the British Regulars fired and fled,—

How the farmers gave them ball for ball,

From behind each fence and farmyard wall,

Chasing the redcoats down the lane,

Then crossing the fields to emerge again

Under the trees at the turn of the road,

And only pausing to fire and load.

So through the night rode Paul Revere;=

And so through the night went his cry of alarm

To every Middlesex village and farm,—

A cry of defiance, and not of fear,

A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,

And a word that shall echo for evermore!

For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,

Through all our history, to the last,

In the hour of darkness and peril and need,

The people will waken and listen to hear

The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,

And the midnight message of Paul Revere

Tuesday, 12, April, 2011

Yuri Gagarin First Man in Space

Filed under: Circle Game,History,In Memoriam — williamthecoroner @ 15:31

On 12 April 1961, Yuri Gagarin blasted off the launch pad in Baikonur at 9:08 AM local time. His call-sign for the flight was “Cedar.” Sergei Korolev, the Program’s Chief Designer, would call from the ground, “‘Dawn’ calling ‘Cedar.’” Gagarin made his historic 108 minute flight (orbiting around the whole Earth once) and parachute landed near his Vostok 1 capsule in the plains of Russia. This flight made him the first human to orbit the Earth and an international hero. Yuri was only 27 years old..

The Cosmonaut program is rich with traditions that honor Yuri’s first flight. It is customary to visit the Gagarin Memorial before your mission, to sign the log book in Yuri’s unchanged office, and to urinate on the tire of the bus that brings you to the launch pad (mostly because Yuri had to himself right before his flight). We hope the world will celebrate 12 April together and create new traditions of space and unity.

From yurisnight.net

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