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Writing Guidelines


Who writes the Memorial Articles?


Most memorial articles are written with considerable input from the widow or other relatives, usually working in concert with a classmate or close friend. Some are group efforts involving several people who knew the subject at different times during his life, while others are written solely by the next of kin, another family member, a close friend, or the Action Coordinator. The Action Coordinator should confer early-on with the widow and/or other family members to determine who will participate in what manner.


Article format


A typical memorial article presents the facts of the graduate's life in chronological order. It usually includes the parental family, life before West Point, an account of significant achievements and activities as a cadet, assignments and achievements in the military, marriage and children, retirement or separation from the military, important activities in civilian life, anecdotes and quotations, and an impressionistic section quite like a eulogy. Examples of published memorial articles may be viewed in various TAPS issues and by clicking on the names of deceased classmates found on individual company pages of Our MA Pages.


Sources of article information


Each graduate’s Cullum File is maintained by the Association of Graduates. Copies of such self-accumulated memorial information and other potentially helpful material stored there may be requested for memorial article purposes by e-mailing Memorials@westpointaog.org or by calling 1-800-232-4723, ext. 1623.


Other information sources include family members, classmates, colleagues, and comrades-in-arms in addition to those listed in the “How to Proceed” section in the Memorial Articles portion of the class web site.


Also available to advise and assist you are your company Memorial Articles Liaison and the MA project coordinator.


Article length


Articles should be 850-1,000 words, or four double-spaced, typed, or word-processed pages. Every article is subject to editing for length and syntax. Excessively long articles will be returned to the writer. Necessarily short articles will either be paired with another or augmented with additional photos. Sending a PC-compatible disc is appreciated.


Accompanying photograph(s)


Each article is published with one or more photos that should represent how the graduate would prefer to be remembered. The graduate's individual Howitzer photo will be used if requested or if no other photos are submitted.


Article approval and submission


The Action Coordinator must ensure the approval of the completed article by the next of kin. Such approval is formally accomplished by completing the “Memorial Articles Inventory Sheet” and submitting it together with the completed article to the AOG Memorials Editor.


While the widow is normally the next of kin, the oldest surviving child has that title in the case of a divorced graduate or one with no surviving spouse. Next in succession are the oldest surviving sibling and then the oldest surviving relative.


If no relatives are found after a diligent search, approval must be obtained from the class president.


Although articles can be emailed to the AOG at Memorials@westpointaog.org,  a hard copy with the signed approval form from the next of kin must still be submitted to:


        Memorials Editor

        Association of Graduates

        698 Mills Road

        West Point, NY 10996


Likely publication


Properly submitted articles of appropriate length will be published in TAPS in the order in which they are received, normally appearing in 3-9 months. The next of kin will subsequently receive two complimentary copies of the issue in which the article appears, with additional copies available to be ordered by check or credit card for $5 for the first copy and $3 for each additional copy.


Assembling your own article information


You are strongly encouraged to assemble your own memorial article information as a thoughtful way of helping your family and classmates successfully present your life story as you want it told. Although self-written narratives that are subsequently updated are especially appreciated, assembling ones MA information using the questionnaire at Simplified Guide for Recording Own MA Data or a similar format is the more common practice.  Once assembled, your MA information can be forwarded (e-mail or hard copy) to the AOG (at the addresses shown above) and/or your company MA Liaison, or it may be otherwise archived in a place of your choosing. In any case, your MA Liaison needs to be informed of its location and the means by which it may later be accessed.


Notification of action taken


Your company MA Liaison needs to be kept updated as to the progress being made toward completion of Memorial Articles as well as the assembling and archiving of your personal MA materials.






  27 Jan 2008

(Photo Album)


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Page monitor:   Jack Porter