Commissioning Week 2016

In just a few days Commissioning Week festivities at the US Naval Academy begin. On Saturday the long awaited Ring Dance occurs for the 2nd class midshipmen. On that evening they will dip their class ring into water collected from seven seas around the world as the get ready to enter “Firstie” year (known as senior year to most college students) and can begin wearing them to proudly show they are students at USNA. The night includes a formal dance for the midshipmen and their dates. I remember when our son’s ring dance night occurred and many of his company mates and their dates all lined up on our front porch for me to take group photos of them. There were about a dozen couples so I had a dozen cameras to use. It was amazing to see the traffic, which is very busy on Randall Street on a lovely Saturday evening, just stop and wait as I picked up one camera at a time and snapped the photos. I tried to be courteous so about every four shots I paused, waved the traffic on and then started again when there was a break in the cars passing by. All in all a most memorable evening for me, for our guests at Flag House Inn and for all the midshipmen involved.

On Sunday the Baccalaureate Services will be held in conjunction with the chapel services. By Wednesday everyone in and around Annapolis will be hearing the Blue Angels flying overhead around town as they perform their annual show along the Severn River. The Naval Academy Bridge (route 450) will be close throughout the show hours so be sure to plan your travels accordingly. Guests we had a few weeks ago were coming to town with their children for the show and I suggested they park at the Westin Hotel parking garage and take the shuttle bus into downtown. For $1.00 per person each way it is a marvelous way to get about town on a day when there is a great deal of foot and auto traffic and road closures due to the show.

We, happily, can just walk across the street from our front porch to the Main Visitor entrance at USNA to see the show with our children and grandchildren (the little ones wearing protective ear covering of course). It has been an exciting family time for us since the first show we shared together in 1999.

On Friday, the midshipmen will graduate either to Ensign in the US Navy or 2nd Lieutenant in the Marine Corps, toss their hats into the air and begin life as an officer proudly serving their country at home and abroad. I say, three cheers for all and wish them “fair winds and following seas” in the years ahead. Go Navy!!

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