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The U.S. Military Academy at West Point held a Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 30. It was the fourth annual running of this event at the academy, and attendance by the cadets was mandatory.
Co-hosting the event with the academy was Spectrum, a Gay/Straight Alliance Club, the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Equal Opportunity with special assistance from the New York City Fire Department and FDNY EMS Fireflag, according to Pointer View, which reported:
Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a transgender graphic designer, columnist and activist founded the Transgender Day of Remembrance in 1998 to memorialize the murder of Rita Hester who died in Allston, Massachusetts.
Since its inception, TDoR has been held annually on or around Nov. 20 and has slowly evolved from the web-based project started by Smith into an international day of action.
Master of ceremonies, Class of 2017 Cadet Riley Dosh kicked off the event by speaking about the reason for TDoR.
“Over the past year, innocent transgender people worldwide have lost their lives due to hate crimes,” Dosh said. “Many more died due to bias and hatred based on gender identity and expression. They were killed for coming out to friends and family, for being who they are. Their lives were cut too short unnecessarily.”
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Dosh said that although progress in this area has been made, there is still work to be done.
“Although our nation has made great strides forward and we are more sensitive than ever before to hatred-based violence, the deaths of those honored here tonight remind us there is far more work to do. Our society, our police forces, our governments and the media largely ignore transgender hate crimes,” Dosh explained.
As one might expect, not everyone was on board. West Point has, after all, a rich history of training America’s Army officers to fight our wars.
One such critic is Ray Starmann, editor-in-chief of U.S. Defense Watch, who told The Daily Caller that it’s one more example of how politicians have “forgotten the mission of the military is to defend the country.”
He said the transgender remembrance ceremony is caused by “social engineers who are cultural Marxists and guys at the top who won’t put their foot down” resulting in “more political correctness.”
But he sees hope on the horizon.
“Thank God General [James’Mad Dog’] Mattis is coming [as defense secretary],” he told The Daily Caller.
Other critics took to social media to voice their complaint.
West Point use to be about “Duty. Honor. Country”. Now it holds forth with “Transgender Day of Remembrance.”https://t.co/uYPkz2MNfb
— Zuiver Cor (@ZuiverCor) December 14, 2016
The American military is rapidly becoming a bad joke.https://t.co/gir37OE31D
— Ted Joy (@TedJoy71) December 14, 2016
Transgenders at WEST POINT? Robert E. Lee is spinning in his grave so fast you could use his coffin as a turbine: https://t.co/x3fnABZt6X
— Dissident ⛄?❄ (@arwreturns) December 14, 2016
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