(CNN) — If you need proof that triumph can have many faces, look no further than this stunning photo of recent West Point graduate Alix Idrache.
Idrache graduated and became a second lieutenant along with more than 950 of his classmates Monday. Amidst the pomp and circumstance, an Army Staff Sergeant photographer caught him during an emotional moment.
While making it through the U.S. Military Academy is certainly accomplishment enough, Idrache left a beautiful message on the school’s Instagram that explained why the day was so special to him.
“Three things came to mind and led to those tears,” he continued. “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…”
“The third is my future. Shortly after leave, I will report to Ft. Rucker to start flight school. Knowing that one day I will be a pilot is humbling beyond words. 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.”
The photo received thousands of likes, shares and congratulatory messages on West Point’s Facebook and Instagram accounts.
On Tuesday, Idrache wrote another message on his Facebook page:
“I woke up this morning and found my face all over Facebook and with it myriad of amazing comments about my accomplishments. 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.”
The word “inspiring” sure does get tossed around a lot these days, but in this case, it fits just perfectly.