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Gen. MacArthur Receives Thayer Award at West Point, Speaks to Cadets

May 12, 1962 - General of the Army Douglas MacArthur received the Sylvanus Thayer Award “for outstanding service to the nation” in ceremonies today at the United States Academy at West Point today. The 82-year-old general, still an imposing figure in a dark business suit and Homburg hat, inspected the Corps of Cadets in a Brigade Review on the historic ground known as The Plain. Future Army officers raised gleaming sabers to salute the old soldier in the brilliant sunshine. Gen. MacArthur, Maj. Gen. William C. Westmoreland, Superintendent of the Military Academy, and the Brigade Commander, Cadet James R. Ellis of Birmingham, Ala., mounted a jeep for the formal inspection. In accepting the award, Gen. MacArthur extolled the West point motto — Duty, Honor, Country — as an enduring guide and paid tribute to those who had adhered to it. The hall was hushed for 40 minutes as Gen. MacArthur addressed hte cadets in deep and dramatic tones. “The shadows are lengthening for me,” he told the cadets. “Today marks my final roll call with you. I bid you farewell.” Gen. MacArthur, who was graduated first in his West Point class of 93 members in 1903, served as Superintendent of the Military Academy from 1919 to 1922. The Thayer Award also cited his service as a division commander in World War I, the Pacific Army commander in chief in World War II, and the Supreme Commander of the U.N. forces in Korea.

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