Monday, May 29, 2006

All the Difference

The President spoke at West Point several days ago. Towards the end of the commencement address he spoke these words:

"I have confidence in the final outcome of this struggle, because I know the character and determination of the men and women gathered before me. We see that character and determination in a cadet named Patrick Dowdell. It was Patrick's dream to attend West Point, and he applied straight out of high school, but did not get in on his first try. After being turned down, he wondered if he was cut out for the Academy. His father, New York Fireman Kevin Dowdell, encouraged Patrick to apply again. Kevin wrote letters to his congressman on behalf of his son. And he spent long hours working with Patrick on his application -- right up to September the 9, 2001. Two days later, Kevin Dowdell raced across the Brooklyn Bridge with his fire rescue unit to the burning World Trade Towers -- and he never returned.
After the attack, Patrick spent months digging at Ground Zero, looking for his dad -- and thinking about the dream that they had shared about his future. He was determined to fulfill that dream. And in the summer of 2002, Patrick arrived here at West Point as a new cadet -- and today he will receive his degree and his commission. (Applause.)
A few weeks ago, Patrick's mom, RoseEllen, attended another graduation ceremony -- at the New York City Fire Academy, where her other son, James, followed his father's footsteps as one of New York's Bravest. And today, RoseEllen -- (applause) -- is with us to see Patrick join the ranks of America's bravest, as an officer in the United States Army. (Applause.) "

These words fill me with pride. From the worst ofthe left, I imagine only scorn. They seem capable of spitting on anything.

No comments: