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Expect More Cannon Fire Monday Morning

by ARLnow.com April 29, 2011 at 9:23 am 3,282 66 Comments

The army’s Presidential Salute Battery will be conducting another training exercise at Arlington National Cemetery on Monday morning.

Two of the battery’s training exercises, held earlier this month, were heard loud and clear in parts of South Arlington and the District. Residents can likely expect to hear more loud booming sounds from the battery’s cannons from 6:30 to 8:00 a.m.

After hearing complaints from startled residents, the military has been more proactive getting the word out about Monday’s training exercise. Here’s the announcement from the Joint Base Myer – Henderson Hall public affairs office:

The Presidential Salute Battery will be conducting firing drills in Arlington National Cemetery May 2 from 6:30 to 8:00 a.m. The training is being conducted before the cemetery opens to not interfere with ongoing memorial services. This training ensures the unit maintains the highest level of ceremonial proficiency necessary to render proper honors to our nation’s fallen servicemembers and veterans.

  • KalashniKEV

    YES! YES! YES!

    *cue reveille*

    BOOOOOOOM!

  • Arlington Lawyer

    Appreciate the heads up.

  • Clizzle Dizzle

    Cannon to right of them,
    Cannon to left of them,
    Cannon in front of them
    Volley’d and thunder’d;
    Storm’d at with shot and shell,
    Boldly they rode and well,
    Into the jaws of Death,
    Into the mouth of Hell
    Rode the six hundred.

  • MC 703

    I hope I can time my commute so I’m driving by the Pentagon when the cannon go off AND a UH-60 is landing on the heliport. That would make my Monday A-OK.

  • NauckNeighbor

    I don’t mean to be a stick in the mud but do they really need to practice this often? I temporarily lived near Fort Myer and enjoyed hearing the “bugle calls” from on base, but the sounds of cannons at 6:30 in the morning shouldn’t be considered an acceptable regular practice.

    • KalashniKEV

      Yeah, you’re right… they could do with a little less practice, or just use the first day’s funeral as a “warm-up” and train at the end of the day when everyone is tired and wants to get out of their uniform. Speaking of uniforms, I’ll bet they could save some money by dry cleaning them less, or just using wash-and-wear ACUs.

      You’re a disgusting person and you should be ashamed of yourself.

      • OX4

        You’re a disgusting person and you should be ashamed of yourself.

        I’m going to start using this line in meetings.

        • KalashniKEV

          I’d like to call a meeting between “AuroraMom” and the Gold Star Mothers… how about Section 60 of Arlington Cemetery? Does 0700, Monday, 2 May 11 sound OK? I know she doesn’t like to wake up before the sun has been up a few hours, but she should be awake at 0630 on that day, right?

          • dynaroo

            I’ll bet Gold Star mothers would be pissed about being woken up by practice cannon fire for no good reason too. What a cheap shot, even for you.

          • KalashniKEV

            “no good reason”

            UNBELIEVABLE!!!!

          • dynaroo

            It’s PRACTICE. There is no good reason they can’t wait to PRACTICE the cannon fire. It is not an actual funeral or procession or event.

            Get over yourself and stop being so sanctimonious.

          • dynaroo

            Yes, they wait so the don’t interfere with the real ceremonies. That’s legit. But they don’t do burials every day all day.

          • KalashniKEV

            I’m going to go way out on a limb and say you’ve never served anyone but yourself a day in your life, and that you have no clue what you’re talking about. Please let me know if you’re interested in talking with one of the Gold Star Mothers… I can put them in touch with you if you like and you can tell them that sleeping past the sun is more important than properly honoring the fallen. Again… disgusting!!!

          • dynaroo

            Is there anyone here who didn’t see the “you never served” line coming?

            The military deserve great thanks and honor. Doesn’t mean they can do whatever they want whenever they want without question.

          • Steph
      • dynaroo

        You are the one who is disgusting.

        It’s PRACTICE. It’s not actual funerals. It can wait. For you to pull the “dead soldier” card for mere practice is silly.

        And even a real funeral doesn’t justify doing anything they want. If they were doing 21-gun salutes at 3 am, people would be complaining too, and nobody would think that was unreasonable.

        Stop the nonsense. And before you try to pull this crap on me too–I’ve got family buried in Arlington and I attended the funeral.

        • PhilL

          Umm, it’s in the statement from the troops where they say they time the practice to avoid disturbing other services during cemetery hours. They are the ones who “pulled the card” so to speak. Even using that analogy seems crass in this case. Write to the Army and tell them to stop pulling cards or whatever call it. I’m sure they will give your honest concerns the appropriate consideration.

        • KalashniKEV

          “–I’ve got family buried in Arlington ”
          And I’m quite sure they’re ashamed of the worthless, self-centered piece of garbage you’ve become. Your comments are shameful at best. What makes me feel better for having to live next to a total douche bag like you is the fact that THE TRAINING WILL CONTINUE AS SCHEDULED!! Those who have made the ultimate sacrifice will continue to receive the greatest amount of honor we, the living, can bestow upon them. Americans with honor will CONTINUE to sign on the dotted line and offer a blank check- up to and including their lives- to the country they love. Go burn a flag or feel free to remain seated during the pledge or national anthem, but have some respect for the fallen… or don’t. WE DON’T CARE.

          • dynaroo

            Hey, great. Just don’t practice the cannon fire at 6:30 am if possible.

          • dynaroo

            Wow, I actually bothered to read the rest of your post. You sure the this stuff on thick. Dare to suggest that it’s reasonable to complain about the early hour of cannon PRACTICE and you’re a flag-burning hippie communist who hates freedom.

            To really honor those buried in Arlington, you have to remember what they fought for, or were willing to fight for, too.

            Don’t worry, I can’t hear the cannons anyway. I hope you do, and I hope they start practicing even earlier.

      • NauckNeighbor

        Not ashamed at all. You seem to have a few loose screws so I’m not going to bother really responding to you. The whole idea is that it is practice, I can’t imagine firing a canon is that hard and you need to do it this often. Also, funerals are not back to back, so I doubt hearing canon fire during the day would really disturb a funeral.

        • PhilL

          By all means, write to the Army and tell them how they can better do their job, and that you’ve parsed the semantics in their statement quoted above and feel you’ve figured out a logical flaw in their planning because it’s not that hard to do what they do.

          Seriously, are people just arguing for the sake of arguing about this?

          • dynaroo

            We can’t question anything the military does whatsoever?

          • Arlington, Northside

            Come work on the Hill, letters are written hourly questioning the actions of the Army, from both sides of the aisle. It is how the Framers intended things to work here.

          • PhilL

            Excellent point. Luckily, the Framers never put in place methods for trolls to Win Teh Interwebs everyday.

        • KalashniKEV

          *shrugs shoulders*

          I guess if you haven’t served or don’t care to respect those who have, you “just don’t get it” and there’s nothing I can do to explain it to you.

          I’ll just leave it at that, and I hope some of the posters here realize that their comments are incredibly offensive.

          • dynaroo

            They aren’t offensive in the least. You’re just incredibly DEfensive. How do you walk around with that huge chip on your shoulder?

          • Teyo

            You accuse others of having a self-serving attitude and insult them in order to make your point. However, your attitude is just as self serving. Having served (or making claims on the internet to that effect) does not give you a right to do whatever you want and it certainly does not give you a right to pass judgement on others from a position of moral superiority, as you attempt to do.

            Serving in the military is a choice and those who make that choice deserve to be respected for their courage and their willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice. However, that does not elevate them to demi-god status and it does not mean that they “rights” should impinge on the rights of everyone else. After all, isn’t protecting our rights the reason they signed up in the first place?

            Your attitude does a disservice to those who have served honorably and don’t throw it in everyone’s face at every opportunity. Shame on you.

        • Arlington, Northside

          Actually the funerals are pretty much back to back at Arlington as our WWII, and now Korean, heros are laided to rest at a pretty fast rate. And I think that you will agree that we particularly do not want to disturb the burial of any of our current combat hero just to have a few minutes of extra sleep. Glad that they have seen the value in providing the community a heads up on the shooting. They could/should probably push this to 07:00, which few should complain about, but it is what it is.

          • dynaroo

            Push it to 7:00? Why do you hate freedom!!!!!?

          • Blueskies

            Agreed! Since complaints earlier in the month, they have given advance notice and turned the cannons around to fire toward the District (hee, hee). That is being a good neighbor while still respecting the fallen and their families.

            Plus, the county’s alert says it’s going to be “canon fire,” so expect some melodious booms.

          • Blueskies

            Should be “agreed” to Arlington, Northside….

          • dynaroo

            Just checked – they don’t do funerals on weekends. Why not practice then?

          • Arlington, Northside

            Dynaaroo, first off there are occasional funerals on the weekend for combat deaths. Luckly the Army does not force families to wait longer than they have to after such tragedy. Secondly, the Honor Guards of all the Services are out there five days a week from before sun up until often after sunset working the funeral detail. I think they deserve time off from training and from services on the weekend when possible. When their rotation is up at Ft. Myer, the Marine Barracks Washington, Bolling AFB, or the Navy Yard, and they are deployed to Afghanistan they will be working every weekend for the tax payers.

        • NOVApologist

          Having been to two burials (and two subsequent visits) in the last year at Arlington, I can say that burials do appear to run pretty much back to back all day.

          The complaints about lack of notice are justified. However, the complaints that they are holding practices at all or holding them too early just come across like the whining of the spoiled and self-entitled.

          • dynaroo

            Everyone has their own ideas about what’s too early, even you.

  • AuroraMom

    This is NUTS! There is NO reason they cannot be more neighborly and schedule this later in the day. Thumbs down, Ft. Myer and a big boo to the scheduler.

    • Rebecca

      do you not have a job or kids getting ready for school? what reason do you have not be up by 6:30-8:00AM on a Monday

      • OX4

        Ummm….my wife is a PhD student. She’s in class 7-10:30 PM and gets home at midnight, then studies until 2:30 AM. Is that a good reason?

        • KalashniKEV

          Nope.

        • dynaroo

          If cannons can’t start practice fire at 6:30 am instead of waiting a few hours more, the terrorists win!

        • Rebecca

          No that’s not a good reason because this is occuring on a Monday morning… does she have school on Sunday?

          Look, it’s sucks we’re hearing loud noises at 6:30AM but it has to happen. It’s no different than being woken up by the sound of a fire truck or police siren blaring down your street at any hour. This way we have better notice and can plan accordingly but quite frankly, I can’t see what exactly needs to be planned.

          • OX4

            Rebecca, that huge thing that just flew over your head at 30,000 feet? That was my point.

          • dynaroo

            Well, let’s think about that – suppose they were firing cannons at 2 am to 6 am, Monday-Friday. Would that be reasonable? Would anyone be justified in asking why it can’t be done at another hour?

            I don’t know whether 6:30 am cannon practice is necessary, or reasonable. I think it probably is, given the circumstances. But the idea that it cannot be questioned just because it involves the military, or military dead, as some posters have implied, is ridiculous. Anyone for freedom fries?

          • PhilL

            So is 6:30 reasonable or not? Earlier in the thread you were sure it could wait because it is just practice. Now you say it probably is reasonable.

          • dynaroo

            I didn’t mean to take a position on it either way – I simply objected to the idea that you can’t possibly question whether it’s reasonable or not.

      • LBSKi

        I have a normal bankers hours job, and don’t get up until 7:30 most mornings. It’s not the hugest deal, I’ll live, but it’s certainly an annoyance to lose an hour of sleep. And, it’s fair to assume that anyone who has any useful purpose in life is up before 6:30 anyway.

        • EastPike

          Typo. I meant to say, it’s NOT fair to assume that anyone who doesn’t wake up before 6:30 a.m. is a waste of space.

    • MayorOfWestover

      Go watch Gardens of Stone and get back to me on that. I’ll save you time, you only have to watch the last 5 minutes.

  • brendan

    First off – for the last article they commented that they “strive to be good neighbors” – Firing cannons at 6:30am is not what i’d consider being a ‘good neighbor.’

    While i have no doubt that this is a necessary activity it’s hard to believe that there are no other military facilities nearby that are not located in an urban setting (quantico, andrews, AP Hill) where they can practice. OR at least consider a more reasonable hour, aren’t the funeral services over by 4pm? It’s light out until 8pm.

    • Arlington, Northside

      Yeah. let’s add two hours transportation time to their already packed day in terms of Quantico or four hours when you are talking AP Hill. Their trucks have serious speed limitations while towing cannons and carrying explosives.

      • brendan

        they don’t have any problem participating in other training exercises at AP Hill. look it up. why not do this one there as well?

        or simply changing it to the evening?

        There are several alternatives to firing canons at 6:30am in an urban setting.

        • Lou

          Yeah really, do it somewhere else. Just bury the people somewhere else too. Maybe if the loud guns go away people won’t be wetting the bed all the time.

          • brendan

            [This post has been deleted]

  • Phil

    If they waited until 7:00am, they would be within the daytime definition in the Noise Control Ordinance of Arlington County.

    What’s half-an-hour? The sun will be up at 6:10am.

  • JackFan

    God – I cannot get over the whiny, precious posters complaining about this exercise. What a bunch of spoiled, entitled babies. You should be embarrassed. I’m embarrassed for you…

    • No Strings Attached

      Dearest JackFan,

      How would you like to complain about everyone while doing foot patrol near the geographic center of AUS? Come Summer out there i think you’ll quickly learn how spoiled and entitled your own actions were while serving one of the cushiest assignments in the Army. Keep up with the approach that embarrasses yourself and your uniform and we’ll see about getting you an invite, you’ll love the nightlife.

  • JackFan

    Wow brendan – your choice of word to describe someone who disagrees with you really advances your cause and makes you look super smart and reasonable. Congratulations my friend.

    • brendan

      I offered a two viable alternatives and what happens? no valid response… you simply insinuate the people complaining are bed wetters – real classy. don’t want to be called a prick, don’t act like one.

      This combined with the previous comments by someone claiming to be an honor guard soldier, does not help your cause. For the record, I give a significant amount of time and money to wounded vets and i greatly appreciate what you all do but this macho and insanely self-important attitude where you brag “our job is more important than your sleep,” is absurd.

  • Set the Controls

    Ultimately I agree with dynaroo-the inference that the decision to train at 6:30 am is incontrovertible is arrogant. Equally presumptuous is the assumption that everyone should be out of bed at 6:30. Personally I’d love to see and hear the cannon fire, hat in hand-it is a solemn and poignant gesture. Perhaps an enclosure can be built at Fort Myer to contain and muffle the cannon noise, and is there another reason Quantico facilities cannot be utilized other than the cannon crews have busy schedules? Quantico is a twenty-five minute drive from Arlington. I know because I often go hiking in Prince William Forest Park, where you always hear cannon fire from Quantico. A round trip is one hour.

    Also, while I consider Arlington National Cemetery to be a national treasure (for lack of a better word) of the highest order, and there is no way the living can honor the people buried there sufficiently, I do object somewhat to the use of the words “hallowed” and “sacred.” These are words to describe real deities, holy relics, places of worship. These words may be apt to people whose loved ones are buried at the Cemetery, among others, but should not be used by entities like Arlington County for its cavalier propaganda.

    • Arlington, Northside

      Quantico is only a 25minute drive in the dead of night in a car that can accelerate and maintane a decent speed. Even if the guys headed down there at 05:00 and could get there in 45 minutes, remember a five ton truck can’t be doing 65+mph like you POV, they are going to be coming back during ruch hour to arrive in time for the first burial of the day. It is not an option. They do go down to Quantico and AP Hill for their infantry training and take much more than just a few hours, usually a few days or the entire week. The ranges are also not right off I-95 but deep into the very large base. For occasional training Quantico and AP Hill are an option, but not the regular training to keep up the skills for the weeks’ funerals.

  • Lou

    Just heard them as I was walking across Washington Circle. They must be aiming then directly at DC now.

  • SoCo Resident

    LOUD BOOMS aren’t really appreciated today, within hours of Osama’s death as the experts predict retaliation. The smart decision would have been to call it off.

    • Arlington, Northside

      SoCo Resident, I would say they should have moved up the training to 11:35pm last night and made it part of the celebration!! USA! USA! USA! USA!

  • JackFan

    No strings attached. I’d love to reply appropriately to your comment but I have no idea what you’re talking about. Except to say that you’re a complete idiot. My uniform? Genius – where did I say I was in the miltary? Next time please think before you post please. I expect that may be hard so I’m sorry for suggesting.

  • KalashniKEV

    I’ll bet some of the same unhappy folks who complain about paying the proper respect to our fallen also complain about Osama’s burial-at-sea…

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