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John O'Connor
VMI Assistant Track Coach Dies

John O'Connor, 34, an assistant track coach at VMI, died unexpectedly of cardiac arrest early Tuesday morning at the Institute's training room.

O'Connor has worked at VMI for six years and was a graduate of Kent State University.

He is survived by his wife, Amy of Lexington and two daughters.

No further details were available as of press time.
Rockbridge Weekly News Roundup

News from around the Rockbridge Region compiled from local correspondents & reporters, news releases and governmental sources.

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Jackson House Introduces Walking Tours Of Lexington

In celebration of Jackson's 175th birthday in 1999 the Stonewall Jackson House in Lexington is introducing a summer evening walking tour of Jackson's Lexington.

The tour will explore historic Lexington and feature nineteenth-century buildings and sites related to the famous Confederate General Thomas Jonathan Jackson, who lived here in the decade prior to the Civil War.

A complimentary tour will be held on Tuesday, July 6 beginning at 5:30 p.m. The tour begins at the Jackson House, covers 1.5 miles of Lexington streets and last onehour and fifteen minutes.
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Meanwhile, down South, a potentially dangerous contagion:

Citadel hesitant on college merger plan

Wednesday, June 30, 1999
Of The Post and Courier staff

     Offering doctoral degrees is an option The Citadel is studying even as a Statehouse committee explores the possible merger of Charleston's state colleges into one big university, the military college's president told committee members Tuesday.
     Some program collaboration among local colleges could be good, said Maj. Gen. John Grinalds, adding that "I'm optimistic about what you all are looking at."
     But any attempt to dilute The Citadel's unique identity would mean "they're going to have to come across my dead body."
     Committee members met with Grinalds and other Citadel staff just as they have met these past few months with officials from Medical University of South Carolina and College of Charleston.
     Appointed by local legislators to gather data and study the merger, they are on track to issue a report Sept. 30.
     "There was not and is not any effort to take anyone's identity," said committee chairman and former state legislator Harry Hallman. "I want to reassure you, any report we write is not going to take away from any resources you have now."
     Instead, he noted that the committee was especially interested in higher-degree programs.
     "I think we have an opportunity to be successful by combining three institutions to do some doctorate work as opposed to three separate institutions doing that work on their own," Hallman said.
     The merger idea, considered off and on for decades, was resurrected last year by Sen. Arthur Ravenel.
     He and other supporters cite possible savings and more educational choices for local residents.
     They argue that a major university would offer doctoral degrees - now offered only at MUSC, in the sciences - and more master's programs in the Charleston area.
     Skeptics argue that the creation of a comprehensive university with worthwhile advanced degree programs could cost millions.
     It could force existing universities to share already meager funds. It could spawn duplication and obscure the identities of the schools involved.
     Lawmakers in January worried that a college merger involving The Citadel would destroy its identity, though it should be noted that the school's graduate program, considered a separate school on campus, does not have the military aspect of the bachelor's program.
     The school first offered graduate courses in 1968 and now offers six graduate degree programs that include areas of concentration not available at other local colleges.
     Enrollment in those programs continues to grow - summer enrollment's up 17 percent this year over last - and the school is also considering the addition of more graduate programs.
     Grinalds said doctoral programs in educational leadership and school psychology "are logical choices for expansion" since the school already offers more advanced courses in those areas.
     The committee Grinalds met with Tuesday has asked several professors from MUSC and the College of Charleston to suggest advanced degrees that the schools could cooperatively offer.
     It was suggested that Grinalds have some of his professors make similar suggestions.
     Committee members include James A. Grimsley, former Citadel president; Harry Lightsey, former College of Charleston president; MUSC President James Edwards; and former state Rep. Lucille Whipper.

A Happy Fourth of July to All: Bill Nay '77 sent this to me. It's his tribute to the 4th. It says it all.

Douglas MacArthur, General of the Army
Farewell Address to the US Military Academy
at West Point
May 12, 1962

No human being could fail to be deeply moved by such a tribute as this, coming from a profession I have served so long and a people I have loved so well. It fills me with an emotion I cannot express. But this award is not intended primarily for a personality, but to symbolize a great moral code--the code of conduct and chivalry of those who guard this belovedland of culture and ancient descent.

"Duty, honor,&country"-- those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you want to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying point to build courage when courage seems to fail, to regain faith when there seems to be littlecause for faith, to create hope when hope becomes forlorn.

Unhappily, I possess neither that eloquence of diction, that poetry of imagination, nor that brilliance of metaphor to tell you all that they mean.

The unbelievers will say they are but words, but a slogan, but a flamboyant phrase. Every pedant, every demagogue, every cynic, every hypocrite, every troublemaker, and, I am sorry to say, some others of an entirely different character, will try to downgrade them even to the extent of mockery and ridicule.

But these are some of the things they build. They build your basic character. They mold you for your future roles as the custodians of the nation's defense. They make you strong enough to know when you are weak, and brave enough to face yourself when you are afraid.

They teach you to be proud and unbending in honest failure, but humble and gentle in success, not to substitute words for action, not to seek the path of comfort, but to face the stress and spur of difficulty and challenge; to learn to stand up in the storm, but to have compassion on those who fall; to master yourself before you seek to master others, to have a heart that is clean, a goal that is high; to learn to laugh, yet never forget how to weep; to reach into the future, yet never neglect the past; to be serious, yet never take yourself too seriously- to be modest so that you will remember the simplicity of true greatness; the open mind of true wisdom, the meekness of true strength.

They give you a temperate will, a quality of imagination, a vigor of the emotions, a freshness of the deep springs of life, a temperamental predominance of courage over timidity, an appetite for adventure overlove of ease.

They create in your heart the sense of wonder, the unfailing hope of what next, and the joy and inspiration of life. They teach you in this way to be an officer and a gentleman.

And what sort of soldiers are those you are to lead? Are they reliable? Are they brave? Are they capable of victory?
Their story is known to all of you. It is the story of the American man at arms. My estimate of him was formed on the battlefields many, many years ago, and has never changed. I regarded him then, as I regard him now, as one of the world's noblest figures; not only as one of the finest military characters, but also as one of the most stainless.

His name and fame are the birthright of every American citizen. In his youth and strength, his love and loyalty, he gave all that mortality can give. He needs no eulogy from me, or from any other man. He has written his own history and written it in red on his enemy's breast.

In 20 campaigns, on a hundred battlefields, around a thousand campfires,I have witnessed that enduring fortitude, that patriotic self-abnegation, and that invincible determinatlon which have carved his statue in thehearts of his people.

From one end of the world to the other, he has drained deep the chalice of courage. As I listened to those songs in memory's eye I could see those staggering columns of the First World War, bending under soggy packs on many a weary march from dripping dusk to drizzling dawn, slogging ankle deep through mire of shell-pocked roads; to form grimly for the attack, blue-lipped, covered with sludge and mud, chilled by the wind and rain, driving home to their objective, and for many, to the judgment seat of God.

I do not know the dignity of their birth, but I do know the glory of their death. They died unquestioning, uncomplaining, with faith in their hearts, and on their lips the hope that we would go on to victory.

Always for them: duty, honor, country. Always their blood, and sweat, and tears, as they saw the way and the light. And 20 years after, on the other side of the globe, against the filth of dirty foxholes, the stench of ghostly trenches, the slime of dripping dugouts, those boiling suns of the relentless heat, those torrential rains of devastating storms, the loneliness and utter desolation of jungle trails, the bitterness of long separation of those they loved and cherished, the deadly pestilence of tropic disease, the horror of stricken areas of war.

Their resolute and determined defense, their swift and sure attack, their indomitable purpose, their complete and decisive victory--always victory, always through the bloody haze of their last reverberating shot, the vision of gaunt, ghastly men, reverently following your password of duty, honor, country.

You now face a new world, a world of change. The thrust into outer space of the satellite spheres and missiles marks a beginning of another epoch in the long story of mankind. In the five or more billions of years the scientists tell us it has taken to form the earth, in the three or more billion years of development of the human race, there has never been a more abrupt or staggering evolution.

We deal now, not with things of this world alone, but with the illimitable distances and yet unfathomed mysteries of the universe. We are reaching out for a new and boundless frontier. We speak in strange terms of harnessing the cosmic energy, of making winds and tides work for us . . . of the primary target in war, no longer limited to the armed forces of an enemy, but instead to include his civil population; of ultimate conflict between a united human race and the sinister forces of some other planetary galaxy; such dreams and fantasies as to make life the most exciting of all times.

And through all this welter of change and development your mission remains fixed, determined, inviolable. It is to win our wars. Everything else in your proresslonal career is but corollary to this vital dedication. All other public purpose, all other public projects, all other public needs, great or small will find others for their accomplishments; but you are the ones who are trained to fight.
Yours is the profession of arms, the will to win, the sure knowledge thatin war there is no substitute for victory, that if you lose, the Nation will be destroyed, that the very obsession of your public service must beduty, honor, country.

Others will debate the controversial issues, national and international, which divide men's minds. But serene, calm,aloof, you stand as the Nation's war guardians, as its lifeguards from the raging tides of international conflict, as its gladiators in the arena of battle. For a century and a half you have defended, guarded and protected its hallowed traditions of liberty and freedom, of right and justice.

Let civilian voices argue the merits or demerits of our processes of government: Whether our strength is being sapped by deficit financing indulged in too long, by federal paternalism grown too mighty, by power groups grown too arrogant, by politics grown too corrupt, by crime grown too rampant, by morals grown too low, by taxes grown too high, by extremists grown too violent; whether our personal liberties are as firm and complete as they should be.

These great national problems are not for your professional participation or military solution. Your guidepost stands out like a tenfold beacon in the night: duty, honor, country.

You are the leaven which binds together the entire fabric of our national system of defense. From your ranks come the great captains who hold the Nation's destiny in their hands the moment the war tocsin sounds.

The long gray line has never failed us. Were you to do so, a million ghosts in olive drab, in brown khaki, in blue and gray would rise from their white crosses, thundering those magic words: duty, honor, country.

This does not mean that you are warmongers. On the contrary, the soldier above all other people prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war. But always in our ears ring the ominous words of Plato, that wisest of all philosophers: "Only the dead have seen the end of war."

The shadows are lengthening for me. The twilight is here. My days of old have vanished-- tone and tints. They have gone glimmering through the dreams of things that were. Their memory is one of wondrous beauty, watered by tears and coaxed and caressed by the smiles of yesterday. I listen then, but with thirsty ear, for the witching melody of faint bugles blowing reveille, of far drums beating the long roll.

In my dreams I hear again the crash of guns, the rattle of musketry, the strange, mournful mutter of the battlefield. But in the evening of my memory I come back to West Point. Always there echoes and reechoes: duty, honor, country.

Today marks my final roll call with you. But I want you to know that when I cross the river, my last conscious thoughts will be of the corps, and the corps, and the corps.

I bid you farewell.

That's it for this week.

Yours in the Spirit,
RB Lane '75

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