A little less than a week ago, we made a bus trip up to see the West Point Military Academy where most all Army Officers of the US , that can afford going here come from. Since I am a Member of the American Legion Post #878 in Oley, I and my Wife signed up for the Tour that was offered. The Bus left the Legion parking lot at 0700 hrs. and took about 3 hrs. to drive up here.
Now, before you can enter the Military Academy, Security Officers come aboard the bus and check each of us for proper ID. You just can’t walk into this place! You must have a Valid Picture ID, such as a Drivers License or Passport. You MUST be a American Citizen to enter here. If you do not have proper ID, you don’t enter! It’s that simple. The Officer came aboard the bus and checked everyone!
After winding around some different roads, our first stop was the Military Academy’s Chapel. There are 4 different Chapel’s on the base. This, Christian, Chapel was the only one we could go inside and see for ourselves. They have a Chapel for each Religion. A Jewish Chapel, a Catholic Chapel, and Protestant. Notice I say “Chapel” all the time. Churches on base are always referred to as a Chapel. There is no church. This is where all the Protestant Cadets go for Sunday worship. It seat’s quite a few. Just don’t remember how many. It’s huge to see.
Now, this is part of the inside looking towards the Alter. We were only allowed to photograph parts of the Chapel. Others were restricted. Each book has to be exactly aligned with all the others after each Service. Floors are polished, pews, brass fixtures, lights, flags, and most everything is kept in top shape and clean! You walk Reverence is the name of the game here! Famous Generals of the US Army all attended here and up front are brass plates showing where they all sat. Its quite a place to see.
Continue on to the Parade Grounds where you see all the Cadets in their dress Uniforms marching before Graduation. Would you believe that these Parade Grounds are Hallowed Ground? Well, it is. No one, but no one, is allowed to walk on this field of Honor unless special permission is granted! The buildings in the back are all dorms for the Cadets, with more being built. The Statue in the far center is of Gen. George Washington. Other Statue’s around are Gen. George Westmoreland, Gen. George Patton, and Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower. There are very, very strict rules here that must be obeyed or you are out! It will cost the prospective Officer more than $500,000 to attend here! If you are lucky to make it thru the training, you will graduate a Lt. in the US Army. That’s if you make it! This is no easy place to attend.
The weather was starting to turn cloudy and cool, but I took this shot looking from the Parade Grounds to the Protestant Chapel that you see in pictures of West Point. There were a whole lot of other stuff that I would have enjoyed seeing, but the Tour only takes you to certain places. The rest are restricted area’s. In a sense it’s good that it is. You just don’t want anyone walking around these grounds.
At the end of the Tour, which lasted about 2 hrs. I was tired from walking around where we were allowed to, and getting on and off the bus. The bus left the Academy and then stopped off at the West Point Welcome Center where you could find most any kind of trinket with US Army Logo. Since I spent 11 yrs. in the US Navy, guess there was no Navy stuff here!
Thanks for stopping by and reading.