I am reading on behalf of Colonel Joe Daniel, who represents the Oklahoma Military Academy Alumni Association.
My name is Colonel Joe Daniel and I have the honor and privilege to speak to you about Col. Ed Ramsey in celebration of his life.
For those of you who are not familiar with the Oklahoma Military Academy, it was once known as the West Point of the Southwest, operating from 1919 to 1971. The academy was built on a hill just west of Claremore, Oklahoma, and across from the Will Rogers Memorial. The spirit of its 52 years of glorious history remains alive today with the transition to Rogers State University.
By 1923, Oklahoma Military Academy was a six-year institution offering four years of high school and two years of college. In 1930, the school established a senior ROTC cavalry program, supported by the federal government, which sent 60 horses and 11 enlisted men. The cavalry program gave birth to a polo team, which quickly became one of the best in the nation. In a 1934 event sponsored by Will Rogers, the team flew to California and beat the heralded Stanford University squad (of which Will Roger’s son was a member) twice in a row.
It was a love of horses and polo that led Col. Ramsey to join the Oklahoma Military Academy in 1933. He graduated from college in 1937 and enlisted in the U.S. Cavalry a year later. After the war, he attended the University of Oklahoma law school. Col. Ramsey has been quoted as saying we would have become a juvenile delinquent if he hadn’t attended the Oklahoma Military Academy and received the direction, training and goals the military school provided. The academy’s core values – courage, loyalty, and honor – helped keep him alive against impossible odds.
All of our soldiers, sailors, and airmen past and present are heroes for defending our country. However, during combat there are always the special few that are given the most unusual and difficult task who become respected, admired, and recognized as heroes, like Col. Ramsey. Col. Ramsey led the last cavalry charge in U.S. military history. He will forever be remembered for that and for so many other contributions to the military. A prime example of his contributions is the use of guerilla tactics when he was commander of 40,000 guerilla fighters in the East Central Luzon – strategies that led to present-day Special Forces Operations.
Col. Ramsey belongs to the Great Generation. He received the Oklahoma Military Academy Distinguished Alumni Award in 1992 and the Hall of Fame Award in 1994. He was once interviewed by the California State Military Museum in which he discussed Fiddlers Green, where the souls of all dead cavalrymen meet for a drink. When you pass from this world, I recommend you stop by Fiddlers Green and have a drink with Col. Ramsey, though on second thought he could be busy riding his horse to the sounds of the guns. Col. Ramsey was an outstanding soldier, business executive, husband, and father. We will all miss him.
Thank you for allowing me to represent his military alma mater.
Lt. Col. Edwin P. Ramsey
Celebration of Life Memorial and Reception
Remarks by Col. Joe Daniel, Oklahoma Military Academy Alumnus
Read by Shelly Kale, Editor of Ed's Book