Political Editors / June 15, 2020

West Point Graduates Encouraged by Trump

The president gave a commencement address to 1,100 socially distanced cadets.

Over the weekend, President Donald Trump spoke to graduates of the United States Military Academy at West Point. Graduations in 2020 have been considerably different because of the coronavirus pandemic — West Point had its 1,107 graduates seated six feet apart and there were no parents attending — but Trump had some upbeat words for the West Point cadets.

Here are some key excerpts:

Few places in history have commanded as much awe and admiration as West Point. This premier military academy produces only the best of the best, the strongest of the strong, and the bravest of the brave. West Point is a universal symbol of American gallantry, loyalty, devotion, discipline, and great skill. There is no place on Earth I would rather be than right here with all of you. It’s a great honor.

Across this hallowed plain have passed many of the greatest and most fearsome soldiers that ever lived. They were heroes who drove thundering columns of Sherman tanks into the heart of a wicked empire. They were legends who unleashed the fury of American artillery upon our enemies on remote islands and distant shores. They were titans who strode through cannon blast and cavalry charge, and stared down our foes through gray clouds of smoke and shrapnel. They were the Army Rangers who led the way up jagged cliffs, the Airborne soldiers who rained down justice in the dark of night, the infantry whose very sight meant liberation was near, and the mighty forces who sent tyrants, terrorists, and sadistic monsters running scared through the gates of hell. No evil force on Earth can match the noble power and righteous glory of the American warrior.

I have no doubt that the young men and women before me today will add your names to this eternal chronicle of American heroes. You will go forth from this place adored by your countrymen, dreaded by your enemies, and respected by all throughout the world. …

The members of this class have come from every state in our union. You have come from the farms and the cities, from states big and small, and from every race, religion, color, and creed. But when you entered these grounds, you became part of one team, one family, proudly serving one great American nation. You became brothers and sisters pledging allegiance to the same timeless principles, joined together in a common mission to protect our country, to defend our people, and to carry on the traditions of freedom, equality, and liberty that so many gave their lives to secure. You exemplify the power of shared national purpose to transcend all differences and achieve true unity. Today, you graduate as one class, and you embody one noble creed: Duty, Honor, Country. …

America is the greatest country in human history, and the United States Military is the greatest force for peace and justice the world has ever known. …

As long as you remain loyal, faithful, and true, then our enemies don’t even stand a chance, our rights will never be stolen, our freedoms will never be trampled, our destiny will never be denied, and the United States of America will never be defeated. With the grace of God and the heroes of West Point, America will always prevail. Nothing will stand in your way, nothing will slow you down, and nothing will stop the West Point Class of 2020 from achieving a true and lasting victory.

God bless you. God bless the United States Army. And God bless America.

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