Vice President Kamala Harris made history on Saturday, May 27, 2021 when she became the first woman to address graduates of the United States Military Academy at West Point. In her commencement remarks, VP Harris focused on the changing world of emerging threats and challenges.
The Vice President’s address was timely, relevant and forward-looking as she discussed the nation’s efforts to confront the challenge of a changing world order. Harris noted that America has ended its longest war while Russia launched the first major ground war in Europe since World War II. The Vice President discussed the need for U.S. leadership in facing the emergence of powerful adversaries such as Russia and China in the international arena.
Harris also highlighted the importance of responding to the global climate crisis, noting the need for “a whole of government approach” and “coordinated action across all levels” in order to address the issue effectively. She spoke to the graduates directly, emphasizing their roles in defending the country against emerging threats, and promised them support from the administration: “On behalf of the President and the entire national security team, I want to say this to you: we are committed to giving you the resources and support that you need. As the Vice President, I will ensure that every military service has what it needs to defend the nation from evolving threats.”
The Vice President’s address also included words of encouragement and admiration for the graduating class, lauding them for their academic achievements, commitment to service, and for all that they have accomplished. Harris concluded her remarks with a challenge to the cadets: “This is your moment to make history. I want you to have the courage to be bold, to be brave, and to lead.”
The Vice President’s historic address to graduates of the United States Military Academy has sent a clear message about the important role and responsibilities of young people in helping build a better future. Her words of encouragement and belief in them underscore the vital importance of leadership and the need for talented individuals to step up and help lead us into the next chapter of our nation’s history. VP Harris’ address serves as an inspiring reminder of the role of today’s young leaders in making a positive difference in the world.