Who writes the Memorial
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
A typical memorial article presents the facts
of the graduate's life in chronological order. It often includes 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 on the MA pages of our class web site.
Sources of article
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 calling 800 232-4723, ext. 1623,
Other information sources include
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 800-1,000 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
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
The Action Coordinator must ensure the
approval of the completed article by the next of kin. Such approval is
formally accomplished by completing the “NOK Approval Form” 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
a hard copy with the signed approval form from the next of kin must still be
Association of Graduates
698 Mills Road
West Point, NY 10996
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
Assembling your own
You are strongly encouraged to assemble your
own memorial article information as a thoughtful way to help family and
classmates accomplish the potentially difficult task of presenting your life
story as you want it told. Although self-written narratives that are
subsequently up-dated are especially appreciated, assembling ones MA
information using the format at ________ or one similar is the more common
practice. Once assembled, your MA information can be forwarded (E-mail or
hard copy) to the AOG (address below) 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