Featured image via Facebook
A photo of graduating West Point cadet 2nd Lt. Alix Schoelcher Idrache went viral after it was published by West Point’s U.S. Military Academy on Facebook. The photo shows Idrache, tears streaming down his face as the 2016 commencement takes place at West Point, N.Y.
Lt. Idrache’s back story is the American dream, come to life.
He worked his way through one of the nation’s most prestigious military schools after immigrating to the United States from Haiti, earning his citizenship and serving for two years as an enlisted soldier with the Maryland Army National Guard, according to Army records.
Idrache grew up watching American soldiers in Haiti performing humanitarian missions, not knowing that one day he would be among their ranks.
Like many other immigrants, his family did not come to America with much.
Idrache’s father, Dieujuste, immigrated to America and was able to bring the rest of his family with him in 2009, one year before an earthquake leveled much of Port-au-Prince. The family didn’t have much, Idrache said, but his father always stressed the importance of education.
Despite the desires of some to say that America is closed, and that nobody else can come in – the only way the country can remain as strong as it is, is for us to continue bringing in immigrants as has always happened. Many of those immigrants have been the ones to serve on the front lines, defending all of our freedom.
Some of them have even given up the ultimate sacrifice – their lives – in defense of American ideals. The idea that America would ever seal itself off from the world, especially with a wall, goes against our best interests.
Lt. Idrache explained the weight of what he was thinking about during the photo, and about those who came before him and what it all meant.
“Three things came to mind and led to those tears,” Idrache wrote. “The first is where I started. I am from Haiti and never did I imagine that such honor would be one day bestowed on me. The second is where I am. Men and women who have preserved the very essence of the human condition stood in that position and took the same oath. Men who preserved the Union [in] a dark period of this country’s history. Men who scaled the face of adversity and liberated Europe from fascism …Women like CPT Griest, LT Haver, MAJ Jaster who rewrote the narrative and challenged the status quo to prove themselves worthy of being called Rangers.”
With someone like that on our side, America is already great.