To the editor: It all began Nov. 29, 1890, at West Point when the Naval Academy shutout Army 24-0.

Navy leads the series 57-49-7 and has not been beaten by the Cadets in a decade, in what is dubbed as "America's Game."

Although the contest lacks the big-time players of bygone days, it does not lack for pageantry and competitiveness. For the first time since 1996, the winner claimed the Commander-In-Chief's Trophy.

The pageantry begins with the walk on by The Brigade of Midshipmen and The Corps of Cadets. The Naval Academy entered Lincoln Financial Field Saturday to the approval of their supporters, followed by one of the great sights in college football, the Long Gray Line. Area residents should be proud that, through the years, Our Lady of Lourdes, Shamokin Area, Mount Carmel Area, North Schuylkill and Line Mountain High schools have been represented in this time-honored tradition.

It is always interesting to see the admirals and generals on the sideline, but seeing servicemen who have lost limbs while keeping America free really puts the game in proper perspective.

The coin toss is always memorable, most notably for the presence of Medal of Honor winners, the superintendents of both schools and, this year, the vice president of the United States. It should be noted that former Trevorton Road resident Freeman V. Horner won the Medal during World War II.

The history of the game is memorable for the many upsets, great plays and the pride that both institutions attach to the outcome. Although the game has produced five Heisman Trophy winners - Felix "Doc" Blanchard, Glenn Davis and Pete Dawkins for Army, Joe Bellino and Roger Staubach for Navy - more importantly, it has also generated men who will go into harm's way to keep America safe.

The post-game tradition of the brigade and the corps singing their alma maters made your heart ache for Army and fill with pride for Navy.

Navy wins for the 11th straight year, 17-13.

Thomas R. Ryan