Kamala Harris first woman delivers speech at West Point graduation
Vice-President Kamala Harris on Saturday became the first woman in West Point’s 221-year history to deliver a commencement speech. Addressing over 900 graduating cadets at the elite American military academy in New York, Harris said that the military’s strength lies in its diversity.
Harris’s remarks at the May 27 commencement ceremony marked her first visit to West Point. She was invited by President Joe Biden to deliver the keynote address at the graduation ceremony.
“Your class is one of the most diverse in West Point’s history,” Harris said. “You embody President Biden’s vision for our military – one that is strong not in spite of our differences but because of them.”
Harris also spoke about her own family’s military history. Her grandfather served in the Indian army and her late mother was a cancer researcher who worked with veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
“I know that you will carry on that legacy of service,” Harris said. “And I know that you will do so with honor and distinction.”
The vice-president also praised the cadets for their commitment to public service and their willingness to put their lives on the line for their country.
“Your willingness to serve is a testament to your character,” she said. “It is a testament to your courage. And it is a testament to your love of country.”
The ceremony was held at Michie Stadium, which has a seating capacity of over 38,000 people. The event was attended by President Biden, First Lady Jill Biden, and other senior officials.