The central staircase at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City.
It had been many months since the last snows melted into the electric green turf. The bitter cold and subsequent warming had nearly cleansed the extraordinary memories of the previous year. But how could the scores who’ve traversed the broad pedestrian hardscapes, passing below towering monuments to academics and sport, truly forget the improbable completion to a football season wrought in adversity and injury and even tragedy? It was a season that began with no more than average expectation and turned dyer even before it began. Only at the very end did the surely impossible become a reality and when the new year arrived there was only one standing on the mountain.
After the electroshock of elation finally faded the facilities had already been prepped for winter and the biting cold had set in. Spring Semester passed and Summer Term rolled. And like an echoing residue of that remarkable in-season the off-season too witnessed loss in the winter, resurrection in the spring and rejoice in the summer.
Only with the sudden (and inevitable) encounter of a familiar air of peak summer might a flickering memory of what miraculously occurred here return. The aroma of fresh cut grass, the grip of the thick, warm Central Ohio air, the beading of perspiration on the brow. In the distance the faint cadence of a drum corps rings like from a dream only to grow louder, and louder and nearer. Through the fog and blur of sleep a community will heed the alarm and descend on the hallowed ground yet again. This time with floods of remembrances and pride of a history very near.
And finally, on the morning of, when the time has come to return, the absence will seem distant and the excitement will seem only emboldened by time away. And the grounds will yearn for its revelers and firm friendship will be shared by all.
Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
– John F. Kennedy