Category Archive 'West Point'

03 Sep 2015

WTC Steel Added to 2016 West Point Rings

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WestPointRings
West Point cadets in India White uniforms celebrating after Class Ring ceremony.

New York Post reports that a new ingredient will go into the melting pot, along with class rings belonging to West Point graduates of long-ago.

When graduates of West Point’s Class of 2016 go into their years of service as officers of the Army, they will be wearing something no other cadets have worn before — class rings that include steel from the World Trade Center. …

It’s at the ring ceremony that seniors — known as “firsties” — get their rings, which become a physical link between future officers and the West Point graduates who went before.

The ceremony takes place at one of the most beautiful places in America — Trophy Point. The trophies, which are cannons captured in 1812 and other wars, look out over a slope giving north into the Hudson River.

Class of 2016 cadets were marched — to a cadence set by trumpets, pipes and drums — onto this slope. They passed Stanford White’s famous battle monument, topped with a statue of “Fame.”

The Army knows how to do ceremonies like few other American institutions. The cadets are dressed in a uniform called India Whites, worn only by West Point cadets.

There are about 1,000 cadets in the Class of 2016, and it takes a while for them to be marched in. It’s an important enough event that parents and relatives, girlfriends and boyfriends have come from across the country.

Each class designs its own rings. The ingots of the Class of 2016’s rings were poured earlier in the year at the Pease & Curren refinery in Rhode Island. That ceremony, known as the “ring melt,” is a tradition begun for the rings of West Point’s bicentennial class in 2002.

Since then, it’s not just any gold that goes into these rings. They’re made from gold from class rings that were worn by earlier graduates and that have been donated, melted and mixed with new gold to make rings for the following year’s first-class cadets.

A small amount of gold is preserved after each melt so that every graduating class will have traces of gold from all the rings that have been donated since the program began.

This has enabled every class since 2002 to “grip hands” with graduates from the past.

This year, 34 class rings were donated from classes between 1924 and 1985. Some families donating rings sent family members to the ring melt, where they placed the rings in a crucible. A film of the event shows a number of them, including Tom O’Neil, who donated the ring worn by his grandfather.

The grandfather, Col. Thomas O’Neil, had been in the Class of 1934. His grandson had carried his ring through two combat tours in Iraq and two years in Afghanistan. At the ring melt, he spoke of what the moment would have meant to his grandfather.

Five daughters of Col. Leo Hugh Lennon, who had been in Vietnam during the Tet Offensive, placed his class ring in the crucible. Others did the same, some saluting.

This new tradition has brought to 356 the number of rings whose gold is in the latest ingot.

It was the Class of 2016 itself that decided to include in the alloy of the rings for this year steel from the World Trade Center, Cathy Kilner of the Association of Graduates tells me. …

Toward the end of the ring memorial ceremony, the cadets are ordered to “reeee-cover,” meaning put their hats back on, and are dismissed. They make their way up the slope and across the plain, past the statues of Sylvanus Thayer, George Patton, Dwight Eisenhower and George Washington.

04 Dec 2012

Lesbian Wedding in the West Point Chapel

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The Thinking Housewife comments on another of those dramatic symbolic moments in the left’s forcible conversion of America.

I read yesterday the news stories about the first same-sex wedding ceremony at West Point’s chapel and was completely uninterested. This “wedding” between two elderly lesbians, whose enormous smiles belie an immense disdain for our heritage and for civilization itself, was news around the country but it is not news. It’s just another all-too-predictable ceremony of the liberal state. These two women, and homosexuality itself, are convenient characters in the drama. These uplifted swords, with their evocation of America’s martial past, and this Gothic chapel, with its reference to the fortress of Christianity, are magnificent props. They serve in the most theatrical way to affirm the power of the liberal state and to proclaim its victory. It has conquered our most treasured institutions. It has stolen right up to the foot of the altar. Liberalism has defeated the greatest competing authorities to itself: traditional morality, masculine initiative and the family. It has defeated God himself. This wedding is an assertion of power. There have been many like it for years and there must be more and more ceremonies of its kind. For the forces liberalism has conquered are the forces of life itself.

Don’t miss the comments.

23 May 2010

Sunday, May 23, 2010

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Brook trout fishing, filmed by F.S. Armitage on June 6, 1900 somewhere along the Grand Trunk Railroad. 1:15 video.

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Who should replace Dennis Blair as National Intelligence Director? No one, proposes John Noonan at the Weekly Standard:

Unnecessary bureaucracy has a venomous effect on the national security establishment, whether it’s infantry or intelligence. The director of national intelligence, which has ballooned to a 1500-man supporting office, was a top down solution to a bottom up problem.

Admiral Blair was a casualty of Intelligence Community turf wars. Closing the DNI office would reduce unnecessary conflicts and duplication of effort. It’s too logical a course of action to be given serious consideration most likely though.

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Bruce Fleming
says that standards at US service academies have been lowered for affirmative action and to allow academy teams to compete in the NCAA top divisions. He thinks standards should be restored or all the service academies closed down.

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Robin Hanson observes a unidirectional dynamic at work in progressive statism.

[I]n any area where we let humans do things, every once in a while there will be a big screwup; that is the sort of creatures humans are. And if you won’t decrease regulation without a screwup but will increase it with a screwup, then you have a regulation ratchet: it only moves one way. So if you don’t think a long period without a big disaster calls for weaker regulations, but you do think a particular big disaster calls for stronger regulation, well then you might as well just strengthen regulations lots more right now, even without a disaster. Because that is where your regulation ratchet is heading.

What if you can’t imagine ever wanting to weaken a regulation, just because it was strong and you’d gone a long time without a big disaster? Well then you apparently want the maximum possible regulation, which is probably to just basically outlaw that activity. And if that doesn’t seem like the right level of regulation to you, well then maybe you should reconsider your ratchety regulation intuitions.

Hat tip to the News Junkie.

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Ann Althouse chides the Washington Post: If you’re going to criticize the new social studies curriculum adopted by the Texas Board of Education, you’d better quote it or link it, not paraphrase it inaccurately.

02 Dec 2009

Obama Visits “the Enemy Camp” and Gets Horrible Reviews

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Even Chris Matthews recognizes that what West Point cadets are all about, Barack Obama is against. For Obama, the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York is “the enemy camp.”

Greta van Susteren has fun by feigning astonished incomprehension of Matthews’ remark, yet displays relish of the implicit sting as well.

I watched those cadets, they were young kids, men and women who are committed to serving their country professionally, it must be said, as officers, but I didn’t see much excitement. But among the older people there I saw, if not resentment, skepticism. I didn’t see a lot of warmth on that crowd out there that the president chose to address tonight. And I thought that was interesting. He went to maybe the enemy camp tonight to make his case. …I thought it was a strange venue.

1:33 video

Ouch! indeed.

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Those West Point cadets didn’t like him. I saw several inconspicuously catching a nap in preference to listening to their commander in chief. Many cadets stared at Obama with looks of icy contempt.

The German news magazine Spiegel, on the other hand, really did not like him. I don’t know that I have ever read so scathing a review of a Presidential speech, not even in Southern newspapers commenting on remarks by Abraham Lincoln.

Never before has a speech by President Barack Obama felt as false as his Tuesday address announcing America’s new strategy for Afghanistan. …

The academy commanders did their best to ensure that Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama’s speech would be well-received.

Just minutes before the president took the stage inside Eisenhower Hall, the gathered cadets were asked to respond “enthusiastically” to the speech. But it didn’t help: The soldiers’ reception was cool.

One didn’t have to be a cadet on Tuesday to feel a bit of nausea upon hearing Obama’s speech. It was the least truthful address that he has ever held. He spoke of responsibility, but almost every sentence smelled of party tactics. He demanded sacrifice, but he was unable to say what it was for exactly.

An additional 30,000 US soldiers are to march into Afghanistan — and then they will march right back out again. America is going to war — and from there it will continue ahead to peace. It was the speech of a Nobel War Prize laureate. …

It was a dizzying combination of surge and withdrawal, of marching to and fro. The fast pace was reminiscent of plays about the French revolution: Troops enter from the right to loud cannon fire and then they exit to the left. And at the end, the dead are left on stage.

But in this case, the public was more disturbed than entertained. Indeed, one could see the phenomenon in a number of places in recent weeks: Obama’s magic no longer works. The allure of his words has grown weaker

Hat tip to the Barrister.

07 Dec 2008

Army Lost the Last Seven Times to Navy

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But enterprising West Point cadets exact some revenge by a daring daylight helicopter strike on Annapolis.

3:22 video


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