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On this day, November 11, 1839, Private John B. Strange relieved the militia guard of the State Arsenal in Lexington Virginia.  As the first sentinel posted from the Corps of Cadets of the Virginia Military Institute, he was the first in a long line “honorable youths” who are “an an honor to our country and our state” and ” and ready in everytime of deepest peril to vindicate her honor and defend her rights.”  For 171 years the Virginia Military Institute has served proudly the Commonwealth of Virginia and the United States of America.  Happy Birthday VMI.  Rah Va Mil.

“The healthful and pleasant abode of a crowd of honorable youths, pressing up the hill of science with noble emulation. A gratifying specticle, an honor to our country and our state, objects of honest pride to their instructors, attached to their native state, proud of her fame, and ready in everytime of deepest peril to vindicate her honor and defend her rights.” Colonel J. T. L. Preston

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