Friday, June 29, 2012


"In the Army there's sobriety, promotion's mighty slow, so we'll sing our reminiscences to Benny Havens, oh." - Benny Havens, O'Brien et al

Telling stories about my time at West Point, as I have in the past couple of posts, makes me wax nostalgic toward my wonderful(ish) years of educational experiences there on the east bank of the Hudson.  Granted, today is no particularly special day for West Point history, nor is it a special armed forces holiday or anything else, but it's a fine day nonetheless to say how proud I am to be a graduate of USMA and a member of the Class of '89.  I'm proud to have classmates like Greg Gadson, who has recently proven not only an excellent spokesman for wounded warriors everywhere but also quite the movie star, and like Kelly Perdew, who won the second season of The Apprentice, and like the hundreds of other '89 grads who invest of themselves in doing their duty to the nation, whether still in the service or out, every day.

In honor of that nostalgic feeling, then, today I bring you the words to a song that was nearly as important to us as our alma mater: The Corps, lyrics by Bishop Herbert S. Shipman and music by W. Franke Harling. 

The Corps bareheaded, salute it
With eyes up thanking our God
That we of the corps are treading
Where they of the corps have trod

They are here in ghostly assemblage
The men of the corps long dead
And our hearts are standing attention
While we wait for their passing tread

We sons of today, we salute you
You sons of an earlier day
We follow close order behind you
Where you have pointed the way

The long grey line of us stretches
Through the years of a century told
And the last man feels to his marrow
The grip of your far off hold

Grip hands with us now, though we see not
Grip hands with us strengthen our hearts
As the long line stiffens and straightens
With the thrill that your presence imparts

Grip hands, though it be from the shadows
While we swear as you did of yore
Or living or dying to honor
The Corps, and The Corps, and The Corps


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