Some locations hosted historic events, some played a part, then there are places like West Point. Places that just ooze history; places that created history.
Early on, West Point, NY was a strategic location for armies in the French & Indian, then Revolutionary war. Benedict Arnold once commanded troops there. Not too long afterwards an academy for training officers in the United States Army was established. Since then the institution has instructed and hosted men (and later women) who would forge history, mostly with cannon and rifle.
What it did not host was me, as I arrived after the last tour of the day had already departed and while the academy is truly historic, it is not a relic. It is still an academy forging tomorrow’s leaders and as such does not allow wanderers like myself to poke around and crash classes; which is exactly what I would have loved to do.
In stead of campus, I toured the museum. Not a bad consolation prize.
To the victor go the spoils, and in some cases you just collect spoils from people you never really fought. In the collections of the museum I found a sword and pistols owned and carried by Napoleon, a pistol owned by Hitler, Hirohito’s samurai sword, and then, the best ever…
Now while Japan’s surrender is cool and important, it pales in comparison to the importance of this:
It all began back at the rugby school in England when a young man, playing soccer, got tired of kicking that darn ball, so picked it up and ran with it. Then this new sport travelled across the pond to American colleges where thanks to institutions like The West Point Military Academy, it morphed into the greatest sport to ever bless this planet, American Football!
Generals, politicians, and leaders are great, but I am thankful for tailbacks and the forward pass.