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West Point Cadets Look Ahead To Graduation

Graduating cadets at West Point (file / credit: YURI GRIPAS/AFP/Getty Images)

Graduating cadets at West Point (file / credit: YURI GRIPAS/AFP/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Graduation is this weekend at the United States Military Academy, and the West Point cadets are excited.

Every year, WCBS 880′s Peter Haskell profiles several of them. Here is this year’s trio.

WCBS 880′s Peter Haskell On The Story

Chloe Canavan of Kingston was in the seventh grade a year after 9/11 when she decided she wanted to go to West Point.

“9/11 definitely had a big effect on it. I saw, for the first time, I think a lot of people saw for the first time, that America isn’t indestructible,” she told Haskell.

She said she wanted to make a difference.

“I know how scared I was and I don’t want the future of America to ever feel that way,” she said. “It was a small group of people that did this attack and so now it’s our responsibility to go weed those people out of civilization.”

While Canavan admitted that she’s scared about her future, she’s also very proud and excited.

“I’m really proud of myself for making it this far. There are definitely times during these past four years that I had my doubts,” she said.

For Michael Kipp of Staten Island, who attended Xavier High School in Manhattan, his decision to attend West Point was also directly related to 9/11.

“I’ll never forget when my dad came to pick me up from grade school. He had this look in his eyes and I’d never seen it before and I tell you I never want to see it again,” he told Haskell. “We were attacked. We have a job to do in that, you know, I want to protect my family. I want to protect my country. I want to make sure that nothing like that ever happens again.”

He said he is deadly serious about this.

“I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to make sure that it never happens again, and I’ll gladly give my life to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” he said. “I joined an army in a time of war, and I understood what that meant going into it.”

Kipp majored in nuclear engineering.

“Let me do something that interests me, but is going to challenge me,” he said.

For Chester Haner of Burnt Hills, West Point has been as much about altitude as attitude.

“What I really want to be doing short and long term is flying helicopters,” he told Haskell. “If you’re not doing what you love, then there’s no point in doing it.”

Haner hasn’t actually flown them, them but he’s been up in them.

“I’ve been on the skydiving team since I’ve been here,” he said.

He’s made over 630 jumps.

“It’s kind of given me a good appreciation for helicopters and really introduced me to the different airframes,” he said. “Most of it’s just euphoria. You jump out and nothing else matters for a minute while you’re falling through the air.”

The mechanical engineering major will be heading to aviation school in Alabama.

Did you go to West Point? Share your story in the comments section below.