20 May West Point Graduation Week – Day One
I heard the four years would fly by, but that turned out to be a grand understatement. It was yesterday we dropped our son off at West Point, and as I write, I am bound to Newark Airport for the last time. We’re headed for Graduation Week, which entails a week of activities, ceremonies, and celebrations. Of course, we are incredibly proud of our son, and his buddies who have become second sons. At the same time, it’s a little sad this “collegiate” chapter is coming to a close. My son told me a British officer guest lecturing at West Point called the place, “A prison for Mensa disguised as a college.” What I know is that graduation culminates in my son’s commissioning as a second lieutenant, and the responsibilities it entails in a time of war. As is often stated, West Point graduates will soon lead America’s sons and daughters into battle. That is true, which also means the remaining shred of innocence in these 22 year olds will soon be lost as well. We learned this on the first day when the cadets took their oath, and the chaplain gave us a reality check by thanking us for giving our sons and daughters to serve our nation in a time of war.