April 18, 2011
Dear Classmates and Family
This is our final correspondence
for the reunion before we gather at the Westchester Marriott in Tarrytown. If
you know of any Classmates who might yet be encouraged to attend, please give
them a call and contact either Ed Brown (firstname.lastname@example.org)
or Dick Buckner (email@example.com).
We have 686 persons signed up including Classmates, spouses, family members
(including grandchildren), and guests. We have 519 persons signed up for the
cruise on Sunday.
We have a number of individuals
who have paid the initial registration fee, but have not yet paid for event
registration. We are pushing the edge on committing to numbers for the events,
some of which require 4 weeks notice, and need your help in sending in your
checks or alerting Dick that the “check is in the mail”. Most of those in
arrears in some form have received e-mails from Ed Brown.
Saturday Golfers and Shooters
– We have 24 (maybe 27) golfers who have committed to Al Vanderbush and will be
playing at West Point on Saturday. We have over a dozen shooters who have
committed to Bruce Shroyer and will be shooting sporting clays at the
Orvis-Sandona Shooting Grounds in Millbrook (great antiquing and a winery!) on
Saturday near Poughkeepsie. Fees and all logistics for both are being handled
by Al and Bruce respectively.
Saturday Opening Reception
– Dress is casual. There will be an earlier (one hour) private
coordination meeting for widows and any of their family members in a room that
we are reserving. Hopefully, this will lead to a closer network and greater
information and participation on many of the Class, Company, or other social
Sunday Boat Cruise
– Dress is casual. This includes a lunch buffet and a DJ playing
background music. It is intended to be a purely social event and a follow-on to
the opening reception.
Monday Class Business Meeting and
West Point – The
business meeting will be immediately after breakfast and must adjourn in time
for the bus trip to West Point. Wives are invited, but their attendance is
purely voluntary. West Point will include lunch, a briefing by the Academy
staff, and our memorial service at the Cadet Chapel. Dress will include
comfortable walking shoes, coat and tie for the men, and appropriate attire for
the women. Our Monday dinner buffet at the Marriott will be casual dress,
open seating, and will include photos by company.
Tuesday Alumni Review and Evening
Banquet – Tuesday will
be at West Point for the Alumni Review, the Alumni Luncheon in the Cadet Mess
Hall, and our Gift Presentation Ceremony at Reconciliation Plaza (site of our 40th
Reunion Gift). Dress will include comfortable walking shoes; blue blazer,
tie, straw hat (provided at our Class registration at the Marriott), and gray
trousers (or something close including khakis) for the men; and appropriate
attire for the women. The Tuesday banquet at the Marriott will be a sit
down dinner with a DJ and accompanying music for background and for dancing.
There will be open seating. Dress will include business suit or sport coat
and tie for the men and cocktail or Sunday dress attire for the women.
Wednesday Farewell Breakfast
– This is our closing event and of course - dress is traveling casual for all.
The Class Gift
– Our gift to be presented Tuesday after the Alumni Luncheon helps endow the
Center for Oral History Project. This project is very high on the
Superintendent’s list for funding at West Point and their need, like most of the
current major projects at West Point, is for an endowment ($20,000,000 in this
case) to sustain it for years. Both the history department and many of the
cadets are excited about it, and it will eventually be available for use by
graduates and historians. We have reached our goal of $1,000,000, and for that
are grateful to all in the Class who have contributed. Donations continue to
flow in. I would like to remind and encourage anyone else who would like to
contribute in any small way to send their contribution in to the AOG before the
The 50th Yearbook –
This has been a
remarkable effort by Bob and Priscilla Hardiman along with a team of dedicated
writers, editors, and creative specialists. Copies for all Reunion participants
who ordered them will be picked up at the Reunion registration on May 14 and
15. Those not attending our reunion will have their copies mailed in mid-May.
– We have partnered with the West Point Alumni Glee Club to produce a DVD to
commemorate our 50 years since graduation from the Academy. It will serve as a
complement to the 50th Yearbook. The DVD contains the Glee Club's
signature recording of the Long Gray Line that honors all graduates and invites
the new generations to join us. In addition, it includes traditional West Point
music, over 700 pictures of our class all the way back to 1957, and finally a
few reflections such as excerpts from General MacArthur's speech at West Point,
our Reconciliation Plaza, and George Joulwan's 2009 speech to the Class of 2011
when they affirmed their commitment to military service. We hope you will enjoy
remembering our years together and the time at our rockbound highland home with
this special DVD that will be included with your Reunion materials that you will
receive upon arrival. We intend to send a copy to all Classmates who were
unable to make the reunion, as it is a wonderful history of our Class in song
and with the photos. The West Point Alumni Glee Club will make additional
copies of the DVD available with details provided at a later date.
Lunch in the Cadet Mess Hall
– If you have a large group, you need to move into the Cadet Mess Hall quickly.
We will be assigned and pay for 9-person tables with a cadet at each table and
will have a set number of tables (approximately 70!). Please fill in and make
it easier on those who follow.
Parking on Post
– Because of security measures and limited parking on post, we strongly
recommend that you take the bus transportation provided by the Class on Tuesday
for the Alumni Review. There is NO PARKING in the vicinity of the Plain due to
the review. If you need to drive, limited parking will be available at Buffalo
Soldier Field (near the Thayer Hotel). If this is full, the MPs will direct you
to the old PX parking lots near the Post Cemetery. You will be able to use the
regular scheduled post shuttle buses from either location up to the edge of the
cadet area. If you do not have military ID and a DOD decal, your car will be
searched and a picture ID required for all occupants.
Handicap Transportation and
Assistance – Parking at
both the NYC dock (for our cruise) and at West Point is extremely limited, so
all participants are encouraged to use the bus transportation provided. Three
handicap assist buses equipped to handle wheelchairs and personal scooters will
be located near the front of our bus convoy on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.
Having said this, Todd Counts, our
Transportation Czar, is prepared to assist those who must use specially equipped
handicap vehicles or have other special mobility needs. Adequate lead time
is essential. Contact Todd via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org)
or phone (703 201-3827) immediately on receipt of this letter if you anticipate
Handicap access is available in
all facilities used for our activities except for the Section D & E bleachers
where our guests will view the alumni activities on Tuesday. A special
reviewing area to the right of the parade reviewing stand will be available for
those in wheel chairs / scooters or otherwise unable to access the bleachers.
Again let Todd know if you anticipate such needs.
Tuesday’s activities will be a
challenge to classmates who have difficulty standing for a lengthy period or who
have ambulatory challenges. We will be on our feet for about two hours
participating in the alumni activities as we “march” across the Plain to Thayer
Monument, stand for the Alumni Review, walk to the Cadet Mess, then later to
Reconciliation Plaza adjacent to Grant Hall, and finally back to the buses near
Trophy Point. Folding chairs will be available for the brief gift ceremony at
Reconciliation Plaza. Wheel chairs can be provided by prior arrangement. Again
contact Todd immediately on receipt of this letter.
- As always, if you have any questions, please address them to me at
email@example.com, Dick at
firstname.lastname@example.org, or Ed at
email@example.com. See you at the Reunion in May!
Class of 1961 Reunion Committee