Thursday, April 08, 2010

Our Hudson Valley Tour Part 4: West Point

Ok, I forgot all about this! We also visited West Point, the military academy. It is said to stand on the most strategic position in the US. It sits atop the hill on the strategic "S shape curve" of the Hudson River, making it hard for large ships to pass through. When ships slow down, they become an easy target for canons and artillery.

This was our first stop after the visitor center, the cadet chapel. As it says in the brochure, it "sits as a silent sentinel watching over the Corps of Cadets".

This is the view from the chapel, the cadet barracks.

Getting into the Academy is pretty tough, as you have to prove your academic, physical and leadership ability! The curriculum is so rigorous, it only graduates 1000 out of 1300 cadets who enter on their plebe year. So it is no surprise that West Point has produced great military leaders. According the the West Point website, "The Academy's "Long Gray Line" includes some of the country's most famous leaders: Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, George S. Patton, Omar Bradley, Douglas MacArthur, Dwight Eisenhower, and Norman Schwarzkopf."

We went around the campus via the West Point tour bus. We paid $12 for a one hour tour, which allowed us access into the campus grounds. When we got there, there were a lot of cadets playing lacrosse and tennis. It's a beautiful campus, steeped in military tradition. I think all military enthusiasts should visit West Point, just to get a feel of what it's like to be here!

West Point Military Academy
415 Main Street
Highland Falls, NY 10928

For the current schedule of tours and prices, visit the West Point Tours, Inc. website at

Hours of Operation:
The Visitors Center is open daily, with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas holidays, Dec. 24 and 25, and New Year’s holidays, Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. Operating hours are from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

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