WEST POINT, NY -- Twenty-two years to the day when
Operation Desert Storm ended, the general who commanded the
coalition force ground offensive was laid to rest at West
First Sgt. Michael Salazar of the West Point Military Policy Company, escorts the cremains of retired Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf following the memorial service in the Cadet Chapel on Feb. 28, 2013 at West Point, NY. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Fincham, USMA
A memorial service for retired Gen. H.
Norman Schwarzkopf, a U.S. Military Academy Class of 1956
graduate, was held at the Cadet Chapel here on Feb. 28, 2013
with family, friends and colleagues in attendance.
Following the service, Schwarzkopf was buried near his
father, Maj. Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf Sr., at the West
Point Cemetery. His father, a 1917 U.S. Military Academy, or
USMA, graduate and cavalry officer, was a World War I
veteran and founder of the New Jersey State Police and
served as its first superintendent. A contingent of N.J.
State Police officers, along with more than 100 USMA cadets,
senior leaders, and staff and faculty, attended the
Retired Maj. Gen. Leroy Suddath delivered
the first memorial tribute, having met Schwarzkopf at the
academy 61 years ago. At 21, Suddath had three years of
college but admitted to not being so academically inclined
when he entered West Point. Having Schwarzkopf for a
roommate was truly fortunate. At 17, Schwarzkopf was among
the youngest in the Corps of Cadets and his classmates
benefited from his knowledge of Middle Eastern culture and
his dedication to the motto of "Duty, Honor, Country."
"He was a leader in the Corps of Cadets and, for Norman,
academics were a piece of cake," Suddath said. "He spent
more time helping his roommates than on his own studies."
Schwarzkopf graduated 43rd among 480 cadets in the Class
of 1956 and commissioned from West Point as an infantry
second lieutenant. After earning his master's degree in
mechanical engineering from the University of Southern
California, Schwarzkopf returned to West Point where he
instructed cadets for two years in the Department of
Schwarzkopf served two tours
in Vietnam, served in Grenada as an Army adviser to the Navy
and later became commander-in-chief of the U.S. Army Central
But it was his presence during the Gulf War
as he commanded a coalition force of more than 700,000
troops from 34 nations that captured the world's attention.
Schwarzkopf became famous for his engaging personality
during televised press conferences from Kuwait -- a command
performance of firsts in the dawn of a 24-hour news cycle.
Suddath said Schwarzkopf's leadership in the war
guaranteed his place as one of the all-time great commanders
of the U.S. Army and credits the general for being a
visionary of superior intellect. Shunning pressure to enter
politics, Schwarzkopf focused his post-Army career toward
"He was a strong supporter of the
Starlight Foundation, an organization dedicated to rescuing
children from abusive situations. He was a champion for the
wounded warriors and a national spokesperson for cancer
awareness," Suddath said. "He never wavered from a life of
duty, honor, country."
Suddath said Schwarzkopf
possessed the morality and intelligence to command the
respect of an entire nation and left behind a great legacy.
"He was not just a bright light in the Long Gray Line,
he was one of the brightest lights in the Long Gray Line and
we will miss him," he added.
Former Secretary of
State Colin Powell, also speaking at the memorial, was an
ROTC graduate at City College of New York and, like
Schwarzkopf, commissioned in the infantry.
spoke of working with Schwarzkopf and former Vice President
Dick Cheney in the Joint Chiefs of Staff as the military was
preparing for a post-Cold War strategy.
"(He) had the
greatest intellectual understanding of the need for change,"
Powell said, in making the case for a reduction to a smaller
yet fully capable force.
Powell, serving as chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1990-91, said the precise
planning Schwarzkopf did in response to Iraq's invasion of
Kuwait went largely unchanged and would become Operations
Desert Shield and Desert Storm. The American people were
surprised by what they saw on television every day, Powell
said, of the young men and women trained to fight with
discipline, honor and respect. Schwarzkopf was adept at
articulating the actions of the coalition force to the
"He gained the full confidence of the American
people," Powell said.
Schwarzkopf would share stories
with Powell, day and night, about these service members and
become animated in his recollections.
Schwarzkopf left an indelible impression in American history
and will forever be remembered as "Stormin' Norman," "The
Bear," and a man whose dedication to his troops led them to
victory and whose larger than life personality "lit up the
country and lit up the world."
presented a more intimate portrait of her father, one who
could relax in his recliner while listening to Pavarotti or
the "Les Miserables" soundtrack and then appear onstage the
next day singing alongside Johnny Cash. In a lifetime of
international travel, having slept in luxurious palaces and
hotels, she said he was equally comfortable sleeping in
tents and drinking day-old hot chocolate on a family camping
"Where the public remembers the war hero,
dressed in desert camouflage or wearing a uniform decorated
with medals and ribbons, we remember a father who would
dress up in clown costume to perform magic tricks at our
childhood birthday parties," she said.
tears, she spoke more of the father and husband than of the
general the public knew. She remembered the West Point
instructor who took pride in molding cadets into Army
officers, then would come home to make sure his children
were practicing their multiplication table flash cards.
Schwarzkopf was 78 when he died of complications from
pneumonia, Dec. 27, 2013, in Tampa, Fla. Cynthia said
following his death, the family found televised tributes to
Schwarzkopf cathartic and healing, shifting them from
mourning the loss to celebrating his memory.
life, when duty called, he was there," she said. "Duty,
honor, country was his creed. Doing what was right was his
By Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Fincham
Army News Service
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