"The Legacy" portrays the long history of Jews at West Point and
commemorates the graduation in 2019 of the 1000th Jewish cadet from the
U.S. Military Academy since its founding in 1802.
challenge in doing this painting was to portray over fifteen symbols in a
pleasing arrangement. This was accomplished by separating the
various elements with the shoulder braid that is worn by soldiers in the
Jewish cadets were at West Point at the
beginning in 1802. Their presence has grown and they will be there
in the future. At the right sided of the painting we see the
exterior and interior of the multi-denominational Old Cadet Chapel where
Jewish cadets worshipped in the 1800's.
At the left we see
the exterior and interior of the West Point Jewish Chapel built in 1984.
At the heart of the painting is the "Long Gray Line" of Jewish cadets in
Dress Gray uniforms marching from the past throught the present into the
future. Toward the rear of the line on the right we see the "ghostly
assemblage" of the earliest Jewish graduates in original uniforms.
The lone cadet at the back of the formation represents Simon Levy, the
first Jewish graduate in 1802. The background for the marchers is
the view of the Hudson River from Trophy Point.
At the top
center of the Choir we see a cadet sounding the shofar, which has provided
the clarion call to war as exemplified in Jewish history by Joshua at the
Walls of Jerico as well as the sanctification of God's name on the Jewish
High Holidays each year.
To the left of the Choir we see
the powerful symbol of the Star of David, or in Hebrew, Magen David, which
is the symbol of modern Jewish identity and Judaism.
the marching cadets we see the motto of the U.S. Military Academy -
Duty, Honor, Country - in both English and Hebrew.
The banner at the bottom of the painting commemorates the graduates
continued presence throught the 1000 graduates and beyond.
It has been an honor and privilege to portray the Jewish cadets at West
Sincerely, Paul Steucke Sr.