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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Portrait of a Midshipman

There are fingerprints on the photography studio on Main Street in Barre from people putting their faces and hands up to the window. There is a new portrait on display, waiting framing and the owner's eager seizure.
Has a portrait ever illustrated a young officer more beautiful and lovely while capturing the dignity, strength and honor that comes in wearing the uniform of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland?
She is dressed in Formal Dress Blues, the "Parade Uniform." On Thursday, a day before graduation and commissioning ceremonies, she will wear this particular uniform for the last time.
This uniform has seen little fashion change in the one hundred sixty off years of tradition. The golden anchor on the collar is specific to the United States Naval Academy.
Beyond the uniform is a young officer- steadfast, confident and self-assured. The kind of inner strength and characteristics we have come to trust in our military men and women. Gaze into the eyes and I see a midshipman's "eyes on the boat" and further beyond that boat...I know that the visions of the dreams that were once only imagined are now clearly in focus and a reality. She has been selected to be a Navy pilot.
Dedicated to my daughter, Ensign Margaret C. Gould and all of our men and women in "uniform".
Thanks to Beltrami Studios of Barre, Vermont for their craftsmanship and dedication; and to John Bramblett, fellow USNA alum of Waterbury Center, Vt for the use of his "heirloom" belt and sword.
Jane Van Esen (Mom)

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