The name ‘West Point’ has a certain standing when it comes to military academic engineering in the USA and around the world, and our visit to this prestigious place further added to our knowledge of the background and cultural threads of this somewhat divided young nation and the impact it has had on the modern world.
From the Revolutionary War of Independence with the British to the Mexican Wars to a Civil War to Native American Wars to the Great War and World War 2, to the Korean War and the Cold War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War 1 & 2 and the War on Terror and Cyber Wars, perhaps, Star Wars is not so far fetched after all.
Only about 50,000 people are involved in gun shooting incidents each year in the USA, with about 700 children killed in 2015 alone, it’s just not enough to cause an outrage against a $32 billion empire, but with sales and manufacturing jobs at stake, perhaps it is important to keep the 310 million guns in circulation for half the nation who own them.
Getting back to West Point, great stories and artifacts and important lessons about the past, but worthless if all that is learned is how to kill better.
We saw the actual dummy plug that was used in the Atomic Bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan in WW2, writings from Nazi leaders, and the Japanese Imperial Army surrender document from WW2, that we had also seen another ‘copy’ in Hong Kong, earlier on our journey.
Nevertheless, our visit to West Point, though a bit sombre, made a solid impact on our thinking and definitely a worthwhile experience, and yep it was free to the public, even foreigners with visitors visas!