Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Scalia Speech to Xavier High School Regiment

Having received the appropriate permission, I’m pleased to make public a speech that Justice Scalia delivered in 2011 to the JROTC Regiment at Xavier High School (New York City), his alma mater.  

Observing that fifty-eight years after his graduation “it is the Regiment that I remember most fondly from my years” at Xavier, Justice Scalia offers a history of the Regiment, including its role as “a visible sign of the patriotism of the Catholic citizens of this country.” His closing paragraphs on courage, beginning with his account (pp. 4-5) of Marine captain, and former Regiment cadet, Donald Cook’s heroic conduct as a Viet Cong prisoner, are especially worth reading. (Alas, I can’t copy and paste them.)

I’ll also note that early on Justice Scalia mentions James Rowan O’Beirne, who won the Medal of Honor during the Civil War “and later, as Provost Marshal of Washington, led the manhunt for Lincoln’s assassins.” That name ought to ring a bell with NRO readers, as Kate O’Beirne’s husband is James O’Beirne. Kate tells me that there’s ample (but not definitive) cause to believe that the two James O’Beirnes are related.