August 18: Loyalty linked to The Cadets

Why are alumni, fans so devoted?

Why are the marching Cadets and The Cadets alumni so loyal to each other? How would you answer this?

alumni group

While I was out in Indianapolis this past weekend a number of people asked me why our Cadets alumni are so supportive of our corps. I found it hard to explain in a short conversation just what having worn the iconic maroon and gold Cadets' uniform, or sharing a history and heritage, or having shared values and a work ethic that we learned as marching Cadets, or singing The Holy Name song knowing that it has been sung by many thousands over a period of 77 years means to us.

I thought back on some words that George Hopkins said at our 75th Anniversary Diamond Jubilee two years ago. To paraphrase, "We are not here to celebrate 10 American Legion National Championships or nine (now 10) DCI World Championships. We are here to celebrate and to honor every Cadet who has worn the maroon and gold over our 75- (now 77-) year history."

In essence what I think he was saying, and what I firmly believe, is that we are all part of The Cadets' tapestry. Our history is not simply about competitive achievement, although we value that as much as any other corps. Winning can be defined in many ways though, and through good years and bad we have always "won," through success, through adversity, and through challenges that have molded our character.

If you have a conversation with a Cadets' alumnus and you ask "why are you so loyal?" more times than not he or she will tell you that everything they are, and everything they accomplished in life, was built upon the experience of having been a Cadet. We are all forever linked, to the Cadets who preceded us, the Cadets we marched with, the Cadets who followed us, and the Cadets yet to come.

FHNSAB: For Holy Name shall always be — pretty much sums up why we are so loyal and so supportive. We want to ensure that we all do, whatever we can do to ensure that those words — the final words of the Holy Name hymn — and the promise to our corps' future that is embodied in those words never ring empty.

 

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