by: John King
I am proud to be known as a FoA! There were legions of them since Andy was widely known and warmly thought of. And he had the rare knack of making you feel like you were the most important of his friends. I certainly felt that way.
But Andy and I shared a special bond. We were both graduates in the same year, 1962, of United States academies – he of the Naval Academy in Annapolis, I of the Military Academy at West Point. We often compared the unusual experience of attending these two institutions and the effect they had on us. Amazingly, they were very different. I was Mr. Conformity. He was Mr. Non-conformity. But we both made it through, and the experience importantly shaped our lives. Together we informally constituted Geneva’s Army-Navy Club. Unfortunately, however, his side kept winning the annual football rivalry. But our Club stuck firmly together, and at his initiative we even expanded it to other graduates living in Switzerland.
Apart from his amazing warmth as a human being, the thing that struck me the most about Andy was his unshakeable integrity. He fought tirelessly for an America that would be true to the words of its founding documents, an America with equality and justice for all. He was no fool, however, and fully realized that the country has never been, isn’t, and probably never will be capable of fulfilling those noble promises. But that didn’t deter him one bit. Given that we were all recipients of the daily flow of “Andy-grams” that have now sadly ceased, we all knew this. But it was essential to be reminded. The Burlamaqui Society, which he founded, was yet another way to carry his message forward and to multiply it through our own resources.
Andy is no longer with us, and I feel the loss as keenly as the rest of you. I believe we can honor his memory and his life in no better way than by perpetuating this Society. As Jean-Jacques Burlamaqui so clearly said, we have the right to pursue happiness. Just as clearly, Andy has defined it for us through his ceaseless work for a better world. It is up to us to take it from there.