Yesterday was my birthday...yeah but I'm not telling you what anniversary of my 39th birthday I celebrated...so Mr. RL, the kids and myself took a day trip up to the Hudson Valley in the great state of New York. And who could make the trip to this part of New York without stopping by for a tour of the U.S. Military Academy?
The bus tours run every hour on the hour which allowed us to time our arrival perfectly. We made it to the academy visitor center about 1 pm and took the 45 minute tour. It was interesting because upon entering the academy campus, the bus was boarded by a military guard who checked ID's and inspected any bags carried on by the over 50 passengers. Also no photos were allowed to be taken as we passed through the gate for security purposes.
What I can say about this campus except for aside from it's obvious beauty, if you are into monuments, statues and cannons you are going to love West Point! The soldier statue below was gifted to the academy by the classes of 1935 and 1936 in honor of the American soldier. According to our tour guide this monument was created by the same man who created the Marine Memorial also known as The Iwo Jima Memorial which stands outside the gates of Arlington National Cemetery in Washington D.C..
The Cadet Chapel at West Point was amazing.
The chapel's construction was completed in 1910 and the various stained glass side windows of the chapel are gifts in honor of every graduating class since 1802. The last window was given by the class of 1976. Incredibly the Philadelphia based Wilet Stained Glass Company who won the bid for creating the windows back in 1910, charged the class of 1976 the same price they asked for in 1910, a mere $300.
The flags hanging are replicas of the original battle flags representing National colors, Corps of the Cadets standards, and the battle-honored Army regiments from the 1812, Mexican, Civil and Spanish-American wars of the 19th century.
You don't really think that it is an accident that these bibles and books of worship are lined up so perfectly? Would you expect anything less?
Below is a pic of a few of the 23,500 pipes belonging to the chapel organ, which happens to be the largest church organ in the world.
View from the front doors of the chapel looking out on the below campus.
The next picture is of the battle monument which was dedicated in 1897 by civil war veterans. The names of 2,230 officers and soldiers are inscribed on the monument.
At the time the civil war was declared the cadets from the south left West Point to join the southern regime. Upon their leaving from the Academy, the cadets from the north met the departing soldiers at the gate bidding goodbye to them with a handshake.
View of the Hudson River.
The "Plain" or parade field of West Point with the cadet mess hall behind.
Statue of General George Washington watching over the Plain.
Mess Hall with Cadet Chapel overlooking .
The Jefferson Hall Cadet Library and Learning Center. The library houses one million books on 19 miles of shelving.
The home of the Superintendent of West Point Academy.
What do those banners hanging on the front porch rail say?
Of course...Go Army...Beat Navy!
Between the two canons is part of the Hudson River Great Chain constructed from West Point in 1778. It was designed to cross the Hudson river in order to prevent British navel ships from sailing up river during the American Revolutionary War.
As we were leaving the visitors center of the academy I just had to snap a picture of this classic looking church with fall foliage in the background.
The tour is a must see if you are ever in this part of the country. There is so much history which lies on the grounds and in the hallowed halls of this spectacular place. It is a wonderful tribute to the branch of our country's military we know as the United States Army.
The cadet code...
"A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do."
Words we should all live by.
Have a great weekend!!!
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