Big Red Car here on a sunny Saturday in the ATX still enjoying the Inauguration, the Inaugural Parade, the Inaugural Balls. Talking VMI.
My favorite thing was the VMI (Virginia Military Institute) cadets, 1,500 strong, bringing up the rear of the parade. Saving the best for last in the their red caped overcoats with white crossed dykes, armed & dangerous.
This picture captures the Corps of Cadets waiting to be turned loose to march down the parade route toward the White House.
Imagine yourself amongst them. Waiting in anticipation having gotten up well before dawn and riding a bus to DC. Standing there with your M-14 and bayonet in your heavy overcoat with the blood red cape, talking to your classmates. Waiting to be a part of history you will remember for the rest of your life. Proud to be a VMI cadet and proud to be an American taking part in the peaceful transition of power which is America.
There is a wonderful, poignant insight as the cadets get ready to march — as they are ready to graduate and take their place in the American military at a time of war. The country has been at war for a long time. Too damn long. These young men and women will be in the fight soon enough. They will trained and ready. Some of them will pay the ultimate price. God forbid, but it is likely. Wherever the fight is the hottest, you will find the VMI grads.
VMI is a hard place to be, but it is a great place to be from. I know, cause The Boss graduated back in the early 1970s when another war was winding down.
Look at this picture and know that since 1839 this little school in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley has sent forth its graduates to ensure American freedom. Where do we get such patriots? Such inspiring, young, fine women and men? They are Americans. They are us. They are what make America great.
When they marched past President Trump, the VMI band and bagpipes were playing Shenandoah. Sort of fitting.