Who writes the
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
698 Mills Road
West Point, NY
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.
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
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.