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Obama Addresses West Point’s Graduating Class

hrs_Obama_USMAOn May 22, 2010, President Barack Obama congratulated West Point’s graduating class of 2010 during its commencement exercises at Mitchie Stadium in West Point, N.Y.

His message was one of praise and hope to the students as he addressed their choice to serve the country during wartime.

“In you we see the commitment of our country, and timeless virtues that have served our nation well,” he said.

He reminded the graduates of their importance to the military strategy and that the national threat remains prevalent despite recent successes in eliminating Al Qaeda leaders. “

But we will adapt, we will persist,” Obama said. “And I have no doubt that together with our Afghan and international partners, we will succeed in Afghanistan.”

His speech reiterated his promises to end U.S. combat operations in Iraq this summer and also paid tribute to the 78 fallen West Point graduates during the war on terror.

“You, and all who wear America’s uniform, remain the cornerstone of our national defense, and the anchor of global security,” he told the cadets. “And through a period when too many of our institutions have acted irresponsibly, the American military has set a standard of service and sacrifice that is as great as any in this nation’s history.”

Obama concluded his commencement by praising the cadets’ excellence in academics and athletics, explaining these will provide the necessary tools they need for their futures.

“You have met all the challenges of West Point,” he said. “Now you are ready to assume the mantle of leadership and to play a decisive role as leaders of character.”

One thousand and two cadets received their bachelor of science degrees with nearly all commissioned as Army second lieutenants in the U.S. Army. One student was commissioned into the Navy, one into the Air Force, and three into the Marine Corps.

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