The 139th Commencement exercises for the United States Coast Guard Academy were held in my family room on Wednesday. All in all, the Academy did an outstanding job of the virtual ceremony. There was a pre-ceremony hour of videos from all sorts of folks including Kevin Costner and Gary Sinese!
I shed many tears leading up to May 20 as it became increasingly clear that all of our plans for a week in Mystic, CT with extended family, in a great house on the water, attending many final events like sunset regimental drill and, of course the beautiful commencement with the pomp and circumstance of a military academy, were going to be cancelled. As it turned out, we had a beautiful, meaningful, and intimate day with our son, his best friend and his Mom. A group of friends and neighbors waited outside our house to surprise and congratulate the new ensigns. If my parents and our older son could have been with us, it would have really been a perfect day.
Ben and Jake were in their whites, and were totally into the whole thing, which was a relief after 2 tumultuous months and a lot of "I don't cares" when we talked about being sad about everything being cancelled. We had big yard signs for both of them. Jake's Mom said she wished she had a picture of his face when they drove up and saw his sign - that made me so happy! They enjoyed every minute. When their names were called (all names were called and photos from the first year and the last year shown), they "walked" across the family room, and shook each other's hand.
I had bought an Ann Taylor dress for the occasion a long time ago that I really loved, but when I put it on Wednesday morning it did not fit right. So at the last minute, I pulled out this great, Angie-recommended Vince Camuto dress that I'd worn last fall to my high school reunion. It was chilly so I wore a light wrap I've had for years - Eddie Bauer or LL Bean maybe?
Here are a few pictures from the day. They're trickling in from neighbors and I had a friend of our older son come to be the official photographer. As you see, I was sure we had bubbly for everyone!
Ben is off to his first billet in Boston in about a week. Of course I'm worried as his risk and exposure to COVID will dramatically increase as he starts moving about, but I'm really excited for him to get on with his life, and his service.
Have a nice Memorial Day to my fellow Americans, and a wonderful weekend to all.
PS - Back to add that Jake has 2 brothers currently serving in the USCG. So that gorgeous woman in #2 has 3 of these handsome sons in currently in uniform, and an 18 year old daughter.
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