Alix Schœlcher Idrache was one of the more than 950 cadets who graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point on Saturday. Staff Sgt. Vito T. Bryant captured this photo at the moment his emotions spilled over. Idrache responded to the picture with a comment on Instagram:
I want to thank everyone for your kind and thoughtful comments on this picture. SSG Bryant captured a moment that I will never forget. At this moment, I was overwhelmed with emotions. Three things came to mind and led to those tears.
The first is where I started. I am from Haiti and never did I imagine that such honor would be one day bestowed on me.
The second is where I am. Men and women who have preserved the very essence of the human condition stood in that position and took the same oath. Men who preserved the Union is a dark period of this country's history. Men who scaled the face of adversity and liberated Europe from fascism and nazism. Women like CPT Griest, LT Haver, MAJ Jaster who rewrote the narrative and challenged the status quo to prove themselves worthy of being called Rangers.
The third is my future. Shortly after leave, I will report to FT. Rucker to start flight school. Knowing that one day I will be a pilot is humbling beyond words. I could not help but be flooded with emotions knowing that I will be leading these men and women who are willing to give their all to preserve what we value as the American way of life. To me, that is the greatest honor. Once again, thank you.
If that leaves you a bit verklempt, maybe this video of the senior cadets marching to the graduation ceremony will help. Note the choice of music.