This morning in the Wicker Chapel, Fork Union Military Academy hosted a special visitor, the 26th President of the United States, Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt. Sponsored by the Edith & Theodore Roosevelt Pine Knot Foundation, President Roosevelt (portrayed in character by Mr. Joe Wiegand) arrived at Fork Union in time to observe the band play the national anthem as morning colors was observed.
Upon entering the chapel, Mr. Wiegand, in character as President Roosevelt, was welcomed by COL David Coggins. Remaining in character throughout, he then gave a rousing portrayal of his life, recounting to our cadets the pivotal moments of his life and many of the accomplishments he attained despite many troubles and obstacles.
President Roosevelt encouraged and inspired the cadets to not let the hardships of life hold them back. He honored his father, Theodore Roosevelt, Sr., as being the one who set him on the right path, referring to him as “the greatest man I’ve ever known.” He instructed the cadets about his own scripture-based education and the importance of building strong bodies as they build their minds. He challenged our cadets to live lives of rigor and service. He brought his remarks to a close with a recounting of his famous “Man in the Arena” speech. When he was done speaking, he took questions from several cadets, never breaking character as President Roosevelt.
COL Coggins thanked President Roosevelt for his visit by presenting him with a special 125th FUMA challenge coin. COL Coggins invited those cadets who asked questions of the speaker to stick around at the end and have their picture taken with our guest.