NavyHappy 4th of July to all. My son Charles entered the US Naval Academy at Annapolis a few days ago. Induction Day is a somber and dignified occasion for new recruits and their families. Its nerve raking as well, particularly for the young men and women that commit to honoring and protecting the US Constitution for the next nine years of their young lives.

This weekend, I am going to have a few beers and sweat out the Yankee games hoping that they can keep pace with the enemy to the north. Its pretty comfortable for me and my family but please take a moment to reflect that we are a nation at war and there are many young people and their families that have more serious thoughts on their minds.

Photographs of Induction Day are available on the Naval Academy web site . We were lucky enough to have our son pictured going high and tight.

Steve Leslie replies:

I am proud to be in a country that allows you to say God Bless You and God Bless America.

Congratulations on your sons induction into the Naval Academy. I am sure you are extremely proud. This is truly a remarkable accomplishment as admission standards are so high and applications approach over 12,000 men and women with only 1400 slots available.

My family has maintained a residence in Annapolis for 20 years and I have had the pleasure of visiting the academy on many occasions. There are some extremely interesting and fascinating things to see and do around the Annapolis area and I would strongly encourage everyone who can to visit Annapolis at least once to get a sense of the history of the place. It is situated in downtown Annapolis directly on the harbor and Chesapeake Bay. A truly amazing location. Some terrific activities to attend are the Herndon climb where 1000 plebes attempt to climb the 21 foot tall monument greased with lard. Also one should see the Bancroft Hall the worlds largest dormitory and King hall where all midshipmen are fed simultaneously 3 times a day.

Washington D.C. is a 30 mile train ride away and a side trip to downtown would be in order. I recommend the Museum of American History to view the star spangled banner. My personal favorite is the display of American coins and currency. It is inconceivable to visualize the enormity of the Smithsonian museums and the various artifacts on exhibit. No trip or education would be complete without a visit to the Lincoln Memorial. There one can stand on the steps where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his I have a dream speech, and gaze across the reflecting pool toward the Washington Monument. Farther off in the distance one may see the Capital building. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is on the left of the pool . The Korean War Memorial is on the south side of the reflecting pool.  The National Zoo is just north of DC. One can see the Chinese Pandas on exhibit. A short drive and one may visit Arlington Cemetery in nearby Arlington Va.

Every child in America should have the opportunity to visit Washington D.C. at least once in their life.


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