The Corps

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Military families continue to send their sons. And their daughters. (One wonders if there came into the mind of Cadet Jacqueline Stilwell, as a plebe opening luncheon condiments, the image of her great-grandfather Vinegar Joe, whose hat worn during his Asia campaigns of World War II is on display in the post military museum, the largest in the country.) For all the differences, it’s still West Point, with half of all its deceased graduates lying in the post cemetery.

Let the last word be MacArthur’s. Old and ailing, he went to the cadets to tell them that, his twilight at hand, he remembered what he had learned along the highlands of the Hudson. “Always there echoes and re-echoes in my ears: Duty. Honor. Country.

“Today marks my final roll call with you. But I want you to know that when I cross the river my last conscious thoughts will be of the Corps; and the Corps; and the Corps.”