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Page 8 text:
here below shall this band of brothers be united; not once more may they look together into each other's eyes and hear the familiar shouts and grinds; not again shall a common impulse move them. Hut what of that? A wave of sadness; a smothered sob; a tear repressed; a tight grip of hands—and ho! for Life and the World.
A year ago your Prologue stood with sixteen of his classmates in front of his own quarters to be photographed facing the spot where forty years before fifty-eight of us had stood with bared heads saluting the Corps the “Never Again farewell that a century of classes before yours have rendered their comrades of the Gray; while parents and sweethearts applauded and welcomed us to that work! to which we had been so long strangers. That anniversary night at the dinner the spirit of class brotherhood swept over us like a tide, and filled our hearts with the same glow of comradeship that hallowed our parting at graduation; and the fires of class affection that had smouldered these many years under the varying eventualities of life, flamed up with all the intensity of Corps life, and lit in each one a voice of reminiscent eloquence that thrilled and enchanted all. It was not alone the spirit of class, but the spirit of the Corps that with subconscious activity had been vital in us and. undying through life's vicissitudes, had asserted its power in the hour of our reunion.
For one hundred and nine years our great Academy has each year opened her portals to a departing band of her elect, survivors of her stem probation; bearing her seal ujx n their foreheads; accountable to her for fidelity to her ideals; beholden to her for noble gifts of power, of opportunity. of development, of tradition; entrusted with her mission to carry the Spirit of West Point into the affairs of the Nation. For thirty-six successive years your Prologue has seen these her generations of foster children come and go; has contributed something of endeavor towards their training; has wished them God speed in their careers; and has seen with pride and sympathy the record of their successes and of their vindication of her trust. With what bitterness of distress he has heard of the few who have betrayed her, you who are faithful will know with a like experience.
Now, in this his thirty-seventh year in Academic harness; a bit frosty in
Page 7 text:
Charles IDilliam larncb Class of ‘ fOciifp"
HIS is the Book of "Never Again' a record of beginnings and endings; a book of endeavor, of endurance, of achievement; an epitome of the survival of the fittest; a chronicle of grind and grinds; a catalogue of heroes and sheroes. of actions and reactions, of virtue and reward, of crime and punishment. In this volume is set forth in type and art the rugged path of virtue that leads to the academic summit where stands Alma Mater waiting to bestow the degree of B. S. Bachelor of Slaughter and to attest that eighty-five of her neophytes are proficient in the gentle art of throat-cutting as scientifically practiced in the year Nineteen Hundred and Eleven of the Christian era. Incidentally are exploited some bypaths, not altogether so virtuous as hilarious and sportive, that relieve the somber regions of the Art of War and exhibit the sons of Mars as other sons, relaxed and gay, laying aside the grim visage of their bloody trade for the innocent joys of sport and spooning, of hazing “Tacs’ and getting even with the Academic departments.
These Eighty-Five nursed at the breast of our dear Highland Bellona, babes and sucklings four years ago, men now, tempered and tried, with a bit of iron in their blood; sound of heart and of l ody and of mind so far as training can assure; tuned to a high pitch; straining at the leash and clamorous for the heritage of youth, are here for the last time together a band of gray brothers closely knit by common trials and interests and a common objective; lined up at the scratch awaiting the pistol of graduation to break away for the glorious race of life. Bang! Away with you! Father Time is referee and holds the hourglass for your record. Run fair; keep your eyes fixed on the goal; don't swerve; do your best, ami may the best man win. Bear this in mind the man who loses but has done his best, has won; the man who wins and fails of his best, has lost. It is only the best that is in you that is the true criterion of success, the standard by which you must be measured, the gauge of your merit.
These Eighty-Five have “arrived —at the scratch. The others herein recorded are on the way to toe the mark, developed in due proportion by the same influences towards the same ideal. This twelfth day of June. Anno Domini Nineteen Hundred and Eleven, they stand shoulder to shoulder; but within the hour “Never Again. When the first of Nineteen-Eleven shall have set his foot ujxrn the boat or car that is to hale him into the hereafter, not once more
Page 9 text:
the pow but no whit frosty in sympathy with the Corps, its joys, its grouches and its ideals; a little wiser than in 70, but not much; a lot more charitable; with an abiding faith in the future of this Land of Promise, and of Humanity; and with a profound conviction of the pre-eminence among educational institutions of the Military School that has certified your worth, he salutes the Class of Nineteen-Eleven.
Most likely the men of every graduating class of young men since colleges and universities were founded have been told that they lived in an evil age in which momentous changes were impending; and that their time was one of transition. This is always more or less true. All ages have their share of evil, and all are more or less transitional. As a matter of fact, however, in our world the importance of all issues is a question of degree; and all matters from time and space to fresh eggs are relative. As we look back over the historic field we note crises of superlative moment by which social conditions are profoundly affected, and we see that the conditions surrounding these epochs are always exceptionally intensive. It does not take a very superior intelligence to discern in our day and in our immediate surroundings evidences of such concentrated social energy. It is a commonplace of knowledge that since the beginning of the Nineteenth Century the Western World has rapidly revolutionized the material conditions of life; and that political and social relations and conceptions have undergone corresponding changes with no less swiftness.
There is more difference in many fundamentals of thought, of social relations, and of political ideals between the world of today and that of George Washington than between his period and that of William the Conqueror yes,or that of Greece and Rome. There is in some respects as much difference between your world and that of your grandfathers as between their time and the age of Louis XIV; in fact, a good deal more. There is no precedent in history for the compression into periods of less than thousands of years of such general and far-reaching changes in the life and material powers of mankind as have taken place since
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