The Youngest at the West Point Cemetery

By Amanda Miller

December 19th, 2019 | News, News and Features
Tyler Killian Miller’s younger  and older  siblings honor their brother at his gravesite at the West Point Cemetery where he is one of the youngest buried. Photos courtesy of Amanda Miller
siblings honor their brother at his gravesite at the West Point Cemetery where he is one of the youngest buried. Photos courtesy of Amanda Miller
siblings honor their brother at his gravesite at the West Point Cemetery where he is one of the youngest buried. Photos courtesy of Amanda Miller

“The West Point Cemetery tells the story of America, not only during wartime but in peacetime as well.”—Lt. Col. David Siry, Department of History professor and director of the Center for Oral History at West Point.

I gained and lost a child on Nov. 22, 2009. My baby must be the youngest person buried at West Point Cemetery, the only cemetery of veterans from every American war. Our little one was granted burial as the child of a USMA graduate who lived there as a teacher at the time.
Named Tyler, my middle name, and Kilian from St. Kilian, Patron of Wurzburg, Germany, where my husband Jake and I met as Soldiers stationed there.
Tyler died in the womb for unknown reasons, his brief life a far cry from legends of the Long Gray Line that surround him, from the American Revolution to Iraq and Afghanistan. And yet, he is counted among them. It is truly an honor that this little child is in such good company.
“The oldest grave belongs to Revolutionary War Ensign Dominick Trant, an 18-year-old Irishman from County Cork. His funeral procession in November 1782 included Gen. George Washington.”*
Two hundred twenty-seven years later, my Tyler was buried here and his great-great-grandmother Mary Hogan was from County Cork.
Sisters Anna and Susan Warner, also buried at West Point Cemetery, taught Sunday school to cadets, one of them Dwight D. Eisenhower.
In 1859, Anna wrote the hymn “Jesus Loves Me.” Jake’s grandmother Lorraine Miller always sang this to our children, and she died just before Tyler. I couldn’t find a recording sung by cadets, but the Cadet Chapel organist Meredith Baker said she wanted to come over to the cemetery and sing it herself. It was perfect. “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong. They are weak, but He is strong.”
Honoring the unborn has long been tradition in America. Arabella Kennedy, the stillborn daughter of John and Jacqueline, is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Established in 1866, The Church of The Holy Innocents in New York City is dedicated in memory of the children who have died unborn.
Baby Tyler’s life made an everlasting impression on our family. His older and younger siblings learned from him. He showed us God’s perfect miniature human design made in His image, and that a person is a person no matter how small.
West Point will forever be home to our family, made eternal by our tiny baby. May Tyler Kilian Miller influence generations to come.
(Editor’s note: The asterisk marks a quote from this story—https://www.lohud.com/story/news/2017/05/26/west-point-cemetery/322349001/.)