What a long day, but incredible. We left at 7:10 am to get to West Point on time. They had warned us at the banquet last night that there were extra security measures and we needed to be at West Point early, even though graduation wasn't until 10 am.
Talk about a run around. We went to gate after gate and was told it was closed and that they had opened a different gate, only to get to that gate and find it was closed.
They even switched gates between North bound and South bound traffic and we even did a u-turn on the highway to switch gates. Finally around 9 am we entered base.
(We didn't find out until later in the day that they had done this on purpose as a security measure. They did not want anyone [terrorist, etc.] to know what gate they were bringing the guests in through).
The commencement speaker was Admiral Mullen, Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest ranking military person. He gave an excellent speech that had meaning, credibility, and integrity to back up the words. He has given his whole life to service in the military and to his country.
Last night, the speaker at the banquet was Michelle Obama and while she has excellent presentation skills and said nice things, it did not have the power, nor credibility, that today's speech had.
There was supposed to be a dance last night, too, but it was canceled due to security and other problems.
Both days it was tight to even get on base and then we were screened on the base before we entered the banquet and the stadium.
They had a parade yesterday that was impressive and then Tony showed us some things and places.
Again, things keep happening. Tony had a date come to the banquet and poor girl, her car broke down on the way to West Point. She had to get a rental and then came late and had to change in the bathroom.
She is a delightful girl, but a mom doesn't tell a son that...or he won't even look at the girl...ha!
My feet are so sore and tomorrow is our day to go to New York City (and walk all day) but I will be wearing tennis shoes so that will be better. We have had to park on one side of the base and then walk all over the base to different events.
After graduation today, Tony was commissioned an officer. They did it down by the Hudson river and it was an absolutely perfect day. Not hot, not chilly, cloudy and sunny, a nice breeze.
Also, at the end of graduation, it is a tradition that the cadets all throw their hats in the air and the small children are allowed on the field to retrieve them. They get to keep them and the cadets even leave notes inside.
Both Rebeca and Elizabeth got had after the ceremony and Elizabeth's had a really sweet note with good advice and a $10 bill.
I had Rebeca and Elizabeth down on the field and I was walking to another area. They were still walking to the front to receive their diplomas...well...I turned to look at Rebeca and did not see a wooden rise that had the electrical cords underneath.
I tripped and fell straight on my face. I scraped my knee and hit my nose really hard. I was afraid it was going to start bleeding.
I was wearing a suit/skirt and was mortified that I had fallen flat on my face in front of a stadium full of people.
Several people came running to help me, but I had already gotten up. One sweet lady told me I had fallen graciously (if you actually could) and that you could not see anything ( and Fito added...at least from her viewpoint).
Oh well...then later in the afternoon, I was sitting by Fito on a bench, the children were playing on the grass under a tree and we were waiting for Tony to finish some things he had to do so we could leave.
Fito made some comment about my hair and then implied that it had been messed up all day. I just about started crying right there. I was soooo tired. My feet were swollen and sore. My knee was aching. Some of my children had just been complaining about why we had to wait so long. I had fallen down in front of so many people and was sooo embarrassed.
But right then, a cadet walked by with his family and he only had his mom (not his father there). There were two people who appeared to be grandparents and it was obvious that they were not well to do, and were struggling.
I immediately saw my great blessings to have work, be educated, have a large family, and have many friends. It had been a great day and we had been blessed with great weather, great words, and the great honor of seeing Tony graduate and be commissioned a Second Lieutenant.
How quickly we let a few miserable moments change our attitude.