Parents of The Class of 2001

From Rick and Sue Due

(Presented here with permission from the authors.)

My wife I and send our warmest congratulations to the parents of the Class of 2001 as you and your Cadet look forward to grand and glorious Grad Week.

You have come a long way. Do you remember R-Day and how it seemed the next four years would be forever, the pangs you felt seeing your "New Cadet" march out onto the Plain late that afternoon and the other roller coaster emotions you have experienced from then until now? You survived CBT, Plebe year, celebrated the passing of Yearling Physics (or whatever course was a special challenge to be overcome that year). Next came the first day of class Cow year when crossing the threshold meant commitment, choosing the ring and the Cow Loan. Firstie year began on the high note of Ring Weekend, followed by 100th Night festivities the end of February and now in a few short weeks THE day will arrive. There are countless personal stories of highs and lows, of joys and sorrows which you and your Cadet have experienced together over these past almost 47 months of The West Point Experience. The roller coaster is climbing the last major incline and soon you will be poised at the summit awaiting the rush and euphoria of Grad Week to overtake you.

Enjoy every moment of it, take plenty of film and video tapes, as well as tissues for the tears of joy and pride you will feel well within yourselves as you watch the graduation parade, listen to the Alma Mater and The Corps, and then finally watch your son or daughter receive that long awaited USMA diploma. Stand tall right along with the Class of 2001 as they take the Oath. Your heart and soul will soar along with those white hats as the new graduates jubilantly toss them into the air. It is not just a day of celebration for your Cadet/new 2LT. It is your day as well. You have raised your son or daughter to be a responsible, dedicated and honorable young adult who is willing to serve this great Nation of ours as a leader of character for a lifetime. The bedrock values of Duty, Honor, Country were taught and instilled into your son or daughter before they arrived at West Point. These young men and women, whom you have raised, will soon join the Long Gray Line. They are indeed the treasure of the Nation.

The three years since we experienced graduation week activities have been filled with new and exciting experiences for us as parents of a young Armor officer. This year the end of May will bring yet another milestone for him and us. On May 27th, just a few days shy of the anniversary date of his graduation in May 1998, our son will be getting married.

To each of you we send our best wishes for a wonderful, meaningful, memory filled Graduation Week.

Rick and Sue Due
Parents of 1LT Jonathan L. Due, Armor
USMA, 1998