Friday, September 4, 2015

Connective Tissue

September's final Sunday shall be spent - as we have spent it annually since 2010 - participating in the Tunnel to Towers Run in New York City.  

It is an event in which the Cadet Corps from the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York also participates annually.  The Cadets are an extraordinary sight to see to to hear on T2T Sunday.  They run together in formation.  They sing together.  They move as a singular unit.  It is nothing short of impressive. 

2014 T2T Run - USMA Cadet Corps 
Manhattan side of Brooklyn Battery Tunnel

As I was sitting at home on Wednesday night lamenting what to watch on TV as the Yankees had already played earlier that day, I came across a story on the New York Post's web site that further underscored the impressive nature of these young men and women. 

Last Friday, the members of the Class of 2016 received their class rings at the Academy's annual ring memorial ceremony.  And unlike my college ring - and perhaps yours as well - West Point Cadets do not simply order their class rings out of the Josten's catalog.  The gold that is used in each class's rings is gold melted down from class rings donated by members of previous graduating classes.  It serves to link, both physically and metaphorically, the graduating class (West Point's and the Army's future) with its past. It is a powerful reminder of the connective tissue that joins one's past to one's future. 

The Class of 2016 is comprised of roughly 1,000 Cadets, a number of whom I have seen in action at the past several T2T Runs.  They designed their class rings - as every class at West Point does.  The '16 Class designed their ring to include not just gold from years gone by but also steel from the World Trade Center.  They are apparently the first class at West Point to have done so and they did it in recognition of those whose lives were lost that day - and those whose lives have been lost in the fourteen years since, which they refer to as "the consequences of the day." 

Five simple words.  A subtle yet powerful reminder too of the connective tissue that joins one's past to one's future.  



The Omnipotent Q said...

I'll be running for the sixth consecutive year in the Tunnel to Towers Run this year too, Adam. The Cadets are an impressive sight in the tunnel, as are the men who run in full firefighter bunker gear. It's a day I always look forward to, to remember my lost friend and the great members of the FDNY.

Adam Kenny said...

You and I have spoken before Q of just what an extraordinary day this is every September. I too look forward to it annually.