Monday, July 13, 2015

West Point Military Academy

The United States Military Academy at West Point, besides being the oldest military academy in our country, is also a national historic landmark.  I had been to the Academy in the early seventies, but Sid had never seen it, so it made the bucket list of places to see.

In many ways, it's just like any other military base, with an exchange and commissary and all the other facilities you find on an ordinary army post.  The difference here is the history. The Continental Army first occupied the site, Benedict Arnold tried to sell the fort to the British and Thomas Jefferson directed the establishment of West Point as a military academy.  Many of its graduates went on to serve on both the Union and Confederate sides of the Civil War and the academy has produced famous generals, presidents and even astronauts.

The post itself is sited on the eastern most point on the Hudson River and has beautiful views of the Hudson River.
View of the Hudson from the grounds of the Academy

One of the academic halls used by cadets

The architecture of most of the original buildings was described to me as military gothic.  Most of the older buildings were undergoing renovation while we were there, so they were generally covered with scafolding  and not picture worthy.  But they are build with gray and black granite and look like what you would think a fort would look like, turrets and all.s

The grounds are lovely, with many commemorative statues and monuments everywhere.  Surpisiningly, one of the monuments, the Army mule, sits on the street in the little town just outside one of the gates.

Recognizing the role the mule has played at West Point

We spent a bit of time in the cemetery, as well as the chapel, both of which are steeped in history.  Many well known alumni are buried her, including General George Custer.

Custer's marker
His wife insisted upon returning Custer's body from where is was originally buried near the Battle of the Little Bighorn.  She is interred next to him.

Interior of the new Cadet Chapel
Every bit as beautiful as the inside of the Air Force Academy chapel, many of the mandatory single cadets are married here right after graduation.

We also spent time in the West Point Musuem where they display an amazing amount of genuine military paraphenalia.

West Point museum

Overall, the Academy is pretty impressive.  Tours are not limited to those affiliated with our military, so if you ever are in the area, plan to spend a day checking out West Point.

Until next time...

1 comment:

Jason Sutliff said...

Cyndi ... "mandatory single cadets"?

Cadets must be single upon acceptance to, & remain so until graduation from, the Academy?!