Monday, July 7, 2008

West Point

We learned a lot on our recent trip to West Point.

It was our first time there, and while we had seen pictures galore, we were totally unprepared for the splendor of the real thing. West Point is breathtaking. It is beautiful. It is magnificent. It is awe-inspiring. It is mighty castles of granite and slate rising majestically from the river's very edge. It is indescribable. It is spectacular. It is a national treasure.

One of the most salient features of West Point is the steep hills rising in every direction. About the only level place we saw all day was The Plain, an ultra-impressive expanse of tenderly-cared-for soft green grass ~ the second-most expensive lawn in America, after the White House lawn.

We were happily surprised to find that if the shuttle bus service leaves something to be desired, at least on R-Day, the MP's are friendly and helpful and willing to do taxi duty if necessary.

We learned that, no matter what obscure need a cadet might have, West Point can meet it. A ride to the train station across the river? The West Point ferry boat stands at the ready. A specialty uniform? They are made in-house in West Point's own Uniform Factory.

West Point is a rich lesson straight from the heart of America's history, the wondrous stuff of legends and epics and heroes, and I am at once proud and humbled to be a part, however minor, of this stately American tradition.

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