Bob Frank has provided a terrific report on the Affirmation Ceremony conducted for the seven members of our Affiliation Class of 2015 who were unable to attend the Ceremony at West Point because they are currently participating in an exchange program at the Naval Academy. Bob’s report:
On 3 September, members of the Class of 1965 gathered at O'Brien's Oyster Bar & Restaurant to participate in and bear witness to the Affirmation Oath taken by seven members of the Class of 2015. These seven Exchange cadets are at the US Naval Academy for the semester and were not at West Point with the rest of their classmates for that event. The West Point Society of Annapolis has been supporting the exchange cadet program for over a decade and has organized an Affirmation Ceremony every year. The Class of 1965 turned out in a great show of support, with 15 Classmates and wives present: Steve Ammon, Emory & Eleanora Chase, John & Linda Concannon, Kay Dermody, Joe & Lynne DeFrancisco, Bob & Mary Frank, Frank & Cam Hennessee, Chuck& Elaine Nichols, and Jim Wood.
Arriving at 1800 hours, we had the opportunity to engage the cadets before and during dinner. Joe DeFrancisco and Emory Chase are seen in the first picture doing just that.
In the second picture Steve Ammon is captured mentoring one of the cadets during dinner. Also in the picture (although not in focus) are Frank Hennessee on the left and Jack Concannon in the foreground.
Along with the mentoring and mixing with the cadets, this third photograph shows that there was also the opportunity to socialize with the Class, as we sat all at one table and "broke bread" together. Down the left side are Joe DeFrancisco, Elaine Nichols, Emory & Eleanora Chase, Jim Wood, and Jack Concannon just beyond him. Down the right side of the table is Lynne DeFrancisco, next to a lucky cadet! Chuck Nichols is the photographer, hence the empty chair.
In the fourth picture the featured speaker was our own Joe DeFrancisco. Having gone to the ceremony at West Point, Joe was quite comfortable with the more up close and cozy atmosphere of the night. Like Bill Hecker, Ric Shinseki and Bob Selkis before him, Joe focused on the significance of the oath and the cadets' dedication to serve in the Army. He was inspiring as well as conveying the pride that the Class of 65 has in these youngsters.
Joe administers the oath while our Classmates covered down behind the cadets. After taking the oath, the cadets did an about face, and each Classmate presented the Affirmation coin to the cadet in front of him. The coin bears our crest on one side and theirs on the other. As Joe had said, we are bound together in perpetuity!
The happy cadets gladly pose with Joe.
And then with the Class.
Very well done Bob, thank you very much.