Musings, Thoughts & Commentaries
The inauguration of John F. Kennedy was a cold but sunny January day in 1961. We West Point cadets led the parade, marching and breathing our breath freezing into the air.
Old and new presidents, Ike and JFK in top hats.
In his address, Kennedy asked his most famous question, about what you can do for your country.
My Company K 2 classmate from San Antonio, Texas, and I were happy to march after having had to stand for hours at parade-rest without moving- we had to be ready, so “Hurry up and wait,” the Army motto, applied. We were thinking about what would happen later, as I had invited identical twins from my home state of Ohio to be our dates at the Inaugural Ball. It was a big deal for all of us-- teenagers at the time.
After we cleaned up and put on our dress gray uniforms, we met our dates and went to the formal ball. The girls wore formal dresses, of course, and we were all very proper. Frank Sinatra was one of the special guest performers and we danced uncomfortably to music of the 50’s. It was a happy time, but then the girls went back to Ohio and we got on the train to go back to winter at West Point-“gloom period.”
The next time we marched for Kennedy was not so happy. It was November 1963.
Tom Anthony is a West Point Graduate and combat veteran who spent his professional civilian career in global business all over the world. He has lived and worked in Austria, Italy, Spain, England, Iraq, Israel, and throughout Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Anthony also lived in Mindanao for seven years.
Copyright 2017 Tom Anthony.