Anton W. Ringl
West Point, 1965
Be Thou At Peace
Posted by John A. Madia on September 28, 2013:
Though it is more than 50 years since Tony and I were roommates during the second semester of plebe year, I remember with exact clarity the sadness I felt on the afternoon that I returned from class to learn Tony had departed the academy. I feel that sadness even now because the U.S. Military Academy on that day had lost one of the toughest young men I was ever to know in my 26 years in the military. I remember him breezing through the indoor obstacle course when I could hardly carry the red flag on the last lap. I remember him walking the area till his wool trousers rubbed all the hair off his legs. I remember his running up those stairs on countless uniform formations. I remember the pressure he endured.
We also lost one of smartest people in the Class of 1965 on the day. Tony could carry the conversation on any subject we chose to discuss. Having come from a West Virginia town of 25,000, I was always fascinated at how much I learned from the big city perspective he brought to bear. He knew the menu at every evening meal, the music for every parade, and the Plebe Bible from cover to cover -- all things I never mastered. Most of us had little enough time to read the front page of the daily newspaper to get a minimal knowledge of current events, but Tony could be found reading the Wall Street Journal. Incredible!
Tony Ringl was not able to become a leader at the Academy or in the U.S. Army, but in the short time he was with us, he embodied every quality our American citizens attribute to the noblest graduates of West Point.
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