On Friday, Vice President Kamala Harris became the first woman to give a commencement speech at the United States Naval Academy.
“The global pandemic — you see, of course — has accelerated what was happening before, and it has accelerated our world into a new era. It has forever impacted our world. It has forever influenced our perspective. And if we weren’t clear before, we know now: Our world is interconnected. Our world is interdependent. And our world is fragile,” the Vice President said.
“Just think: A deadly pandemic can spread throughout the globe in just a matter of months. A gang of hackers can disrupt the fuel supply of a whole seaboard. One country’s carbon emissions can threaten the sustainability of the whole Earth. This, midshipmen, is the era we’re in. It is unlike any era that came before. So, the challenge now, the challenge before us now is how to mount a modern defense to these modern threats.”
Vice President Harris asked the 2021 graduating class to defend the nation and make historic changes.
“We must defend our nation against these threats, And at the same time, we must make advances in things that you’ve been learning, things like quantum computing, artificial intelligence, robotics, things that will put our nation at a strategic advantage,” Vice President Harris said.
“And you will be the ones to do it. You will be the ones to do it because the United States military is the best, the bravest, and the most brilliant. And just think, from walkie talkies, to the Internet, to satellite navigation, the United States military has been on the forefront of research, development and technological advancement. That is a point of American pride. And as I look out at all of you, I know you will build on that leadership.”
The Vice President tweeted, “It was an honor to speak at the U.S. Naval Academy’s graduation and commissioning ceremony. To the class of 2021: You are tireless. You are ambitious. You are idealists in the truest sense of the word. Hold onto that. Congratulations!”
Presidents and Vice Presidents deliver commencement speeches at service academies every year. Last week, President Joe Biden addressed the graduating class at the US Coast Guard Academy.