Connecting Generations: Pure Gold
In 1999, Ron Turner ’58 submitted an article to Assembly magazine that contained a suggestion: “We, as graduates of West Point, should establish a ‘Memorial Ring Program.’ Over the next few years, the suggestion turned into a plan, and the Class of 2002 enthusiastically became the inaugural class in the historic undertaking. Their class rings contained gold from the rings of 31 graduates. LTG William J. Lennox, Jr. ’71 delivered a moving address to the Class about the tangible link to the 31 former graduates that the Class of 2002 had with their rings.
He said, in part:
2002 — this class ring symbolizes many things, but among them, commitment is key. Your ring commits you, for example to pride, for you will always be known by your chosen motto ‘Pride in all we do.’ It is emblazoned on your ring on the class crest that you will wear closest to your heart for the next year. Live that pride! It commits you to the ideals of this Academy — after graduation you’ll turn the ring over to the Academy crest — ‘Duty, Honor, Country’ — committing yourselves even deeper to the values of the profession of arms: integrity, selfless service, duty, and courage. Rings do symbolize commitment — commitment to sacrifice for the greater good, whether it is sacrifice in peacetime, or sacrifice of personal safety for the welfare of the country in war. Rings also symbolize the powerful hold of a class — symbolized by that class crest on the ring. At one of your future reunions — your 10th, 20th, your 30th — there will be a hand from a classmate long forgotten — reaching out for yours… These rings reach across time and across generations.
For more information, please visit the West Point website.