tv West Point Holiday Special FOX News December 25, 2012 10:00am-11:00am PST
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kelly: welcome to fox news channel west point holiday special. i'm jon scott coming to you from the grounds of the united states military academy in tphoefrpblgt this is one of our most fabled universities. each year more than a thousand cadets graduate here and become officers in the united states army. tonight we will not only get to explore the rich history of west point and get a rare glimpse of the living traditions of the united states military but we'll also get to enjoy the music of the army's oldest band. ♪ [music playing] ] >> the west point band is one of the finest military organizations. throughout the next hour we'll hear them on the field, in the halls, and on stage as they perform for the public in their annual holiday concert. before we get to the music let's go to washington d.c. for a special message from general marshal dempsey general of the joints chief of staff and a 1974
west point graduate. >> thanks nor the opportunity to showcase this national treasure during the holidays and to hear the music of the west point band, the army's oldest and one of the very best. i don't want to miss this opportunity to highlight the service and sacrifice of the millions of servicemen and women serving our nation at home and a broad during these holidays. i wish them and their families happy holidays. jon: thank you, general. the holiday season would not be complete without the annual west point annual concert in eisenhower hall. named for president dwight eisenhower, the hall is one of the largest theaters in america designed to hold the entire core of cadets. here is the west point band in the hudson valley holiday concert performing holiday presents.
♪ [music playing] jon: we are glad you're with us for our west point holiday special. i'm jon scott here on the grounds of the united states military academy at west point to bring you the amazing sounds of the west point band. the academy sits on a plateau overlook being the hudson river. the location chosen in 1778 is
no accident. >> george washington built his first colonial camp on the west point of the hudson river. this is the oldest continuously operated post in the u.s. military. >> general washington stopped the advancement in the war. legislation signed by thomas jefferson in 1882 a khepbl college was established devoted to producing professional leaders in warfare. >> tradition is everything here. it permeates through everything that we do, our uniforms are the same as they wore in 1802 when the school opened. it gives us a background and something to draw from in our lives and our experiences as cadets. >> since day one everyone has their heart set on serving their country. it's not something you ever regret, it's something you get hyped about, reinspired and motivated. you want to serve your country. >> it starts with our mission,
our mission to ed indicate to to ed indicate, train and inspire the core of cadets, so they are committed to the values of duty, honor and country and prepared for a selfless career of service as an officer in the united states army. jon: as long as there have been soldiers at west point there has been a band. >> there were field music musicians, drummers and fiffers, that go back to the 1700s in the army. jon: military drums were the prime air remember form of communication from the revolution to the civil war and the bugel had an increasing roll because of its bold brilliant sound to be heard above the noise of battle. throughout history west point cadets have marched to the west point band field music group. >> the same type of group, the same type of music, same
instruments, they still play today. ♪ [music playing] ] >> they march cadets from placeu will see is daily formations for lunch, we all form up and they call the company to attention and we march in formation to the mess hall where we eat. formation to where we eat. they play the drums to keep everyone in step. we are all marching on the same page, left foot first, right foot, so on and so forth. >> you'll see them all marching in to the beat of a drum. the entire core of cadets eat at one time. jon: they keep them on a schedule that makes up life at west point. the field music group known to most as the hellcats performs as football games, military reviews and parades and countless other events. let's go back now inside
jon: welcome back to fox news channel's west point holiday special. that was the west point glee club singing the alma mater. army officers look forward to a well deserved break from their study and training during the holidays. >> the holidays are a very, very busy time at west point. cadets are thinking about emotional reunions as they go back to each of the 50 states of the united states and 33 different countries around the world. >> it's a time to remember those who have gone before them and the thousands of americans celebrating the holidays far from home. >> the holiday season remind us again about soldiers serving in harm's way, and so many of us know what it's like to have been deployed overseas and to be away from the united states during the holidays. so we never forget that sacrifice. there is the connection of the cadet, the future leader of those soldiers who are
deployed. >> walking through the post the holiday spirit is palpable. >> the christmas season here is incredibly busy, homework, quizes, tests, everything getting ready for finals. your far away and you're not with your real family, the people around you make it feel like the the holidays. it's beautiful. rare moments when you feel like all the people around you, 4,000 of us are really a family. jon: there is one december tradition that everyone looks forward to. >> every year the cadets have a holiday dinner where they get dressed in their best uniforms, washington hall will be decorated beautifully. jon: and washington hall is no ordinary dining club. >> the entire core of cadets, roughly 4400 of us eat in that dining hall for every meal. >> christmas meal is the best night all cadets can remember. >> one of the traditions that happens at. is that they come into the mess hall.
>> they wrap everything in wrapping paper. >> competition to decorate the christmas table with the most decoration stkpwhr-s they use their cry eight teuft and create a beautiful table for us. >> one of the most amazing things is to see thousands of cadets, and all of them will be served with a great, first-class meal. >> everybody is sitting at a table of 10. family style meals, passing food around, talking, getting to know your classmates. >> you laugh, have fun, talk and exchange jokes. >> it's an opportunity for cadets young and old to bond as a unit. >> it's the most exciting thing during the holidays here. it's a lot of fun. >> massive washington hall isn't even the most impressive structure at west point. one of the most awe-inspiring college campuses in america the u.s. military academy was the first institution in the country to adopt the got gotheic style of architecture. the fortress is symbolic of the
strength and tenacity to lead the u.s. army into the future. one of the great structures is the cadet chapel overlooking the campus. >> originally it would be down on the plain where the cadets lived and it would be a beautiful sight for it. something this majestic needs to be on the hill. it's 109 steps up here. i told the cadets it's worth the walk. >> this is one of five on post each providing a spiritual home to cadets from different religious backgrounds. this building took more than a year to complete. >> they began work on it in april of 1909. they brought the artisans who had built the great cathedrals in europe over here them. were told if they could finish this building in five years that they and their families would receive citizenship. they built in it 14 knows. >> each window pane is a memorial in memory of their fallen classmates. >> different classes from 1802, the first class to 1976 donated
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jon: our west point holiday special continues now. i'm jon scott. we are at the west point academy where cadets spend four pressure packed years. just making it to fall semester is nothing short of a triumph. for members of the freshman class known as plebs it's their first chance to have a reception . just the start of a rigorous schedule of training and ed indication that will continue throughout their time here. >> in each of the four years here at west point we are on a
constant campaign to develop them as leaders of character, because almost immediately upon graduation they take on this extraordinary responsibility to command, to inspire, to lead, to serve the soldiers of the united states army. that's the primary mission here at west point. jon: let's get become now to the music of the west point band as we rejoin the hudson valley holiday concert for "winter games." ♪ [music playing]
[singing] ♪ come its lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you. ♪ outside the snow is falling and friends are calling yoo-hoo. ♪ come on it's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you. ♪ [music playing] we're riding in a wonderland of snow note gi distribution dy-up it's grand just holding your hand. ♪ our cheeks are nice and rosy and comfy cozy are we are.
snuggled up together like a birds of a feather are we. let's take that rose see forest and sing a chorus or two. it's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you. ♪ [music playing] ♪ it's the birthday party at the home of farmer greg. it will be the perfect ending of a perfect day. ♪ we'll eastbound singing the songs we love to sing without a single stop, and the fireplace while we watch the chestnuts
pop. pop, pop, pop, pop, pop. there is a happy feeling nothing in the world can buy, when they pass around the coffee and the pumpkin pie. ♪ ♪ [singing] [. ♪ these wonderful things are the things we remember our through our lives. ♪ just hear those sleigh bells skwreupbg link, ring tingigtingling too. outside the snow is falling and friends are calling yoo-hoo.
come on it's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you. diggy up, giddy up let's go let's look at the show. we are riding in a wonderland of snow. giddy up, giddy up it's grand just holding wour hand, we're gliding along with the song of a wintry fairy land. our cheeks are rose zi as coz rosy as cozy as we. let's take that roadsie forest and sing a chorus or two. come on it's lovely weather, wonderful