2nd Lt. Alix Schoelcher Idrache stood proudly in attention during his commencement ceremony in West Point, N.Y.
Then suddenly he was overcome with emotion.
As he stood in line, tears rolled down both of his cheeks.
The photograph of Idrache, taken by Army Staff Sgt. Vito T. Bryant, was published on the Facebook page of West Point’s U.S. Military Academy. It immediately went viral.
But it’s Idrache’s life story that is truly awe-inspiring.
Idrache worked his way through one of the nation’s most prestigious military schools after immigrating to the United States from Haiti.
He managed to earn his citizenship and served for two years as an enlisted soldier with the Maryland Army National Guard.
The soldier says he is overwhelmed by the positive response to the photo.
“I woke up this morning and found my face all over Facebook and with it myriad of amazing comments about my accomplishments,” Idrache wrote on Facebook
“I am humbled and shocked at the same time. Thank you for giving me a shot at the American Dream and may God bless America, the greatest country on earth.” Idrache wrote on Facebook.
On West Point’s U.S. Military Academy Instagram page, he left another message thanking people for their support.
‘Three things came to mind and led to those tears,” Idrache wrote. “The first is where I started. I am from Haiti and never did I imagine that such honor would be one day bestowed on me.’
‘The second is where I am. Men and women who have preserved the very essence of the human condition stood in that position and took the same oath.’
‘Men who preserved the Union [in] a dark period of this country’s history. Men who scaled the face of adversity and liberated Europe from fascism …Women like CPT Griest, LT Haver, MAJ Jaster who rewrote the narrative and challenged the status quo to prove themselves worthy of being called Rangers.’
‘Knowing that one day I will be a pilot is humbling beyond words,’ Idrache wrote.
‘I could not help but be flooded with emotions knowing that I will be leading these men and women who are willing to give their all to preserve what we value as the American way of life.’
‘To me, that is the greatest honor. Once again, thank you.’
Idrache was a leader in his class of 950 cadets, according to a West Point news release. He was also named as a regimental commander last summer.
He is also Point’s top graduate in physics, earning the school’s Brigadier General Gerald A. Counts Memorial Award.