Biden urges West Point cadets to ‘hold fast’ to the oath amid global turmoil

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President Biden told graduates of the U.S. Military Academy Saturday to stay true to their values as they face threats and turmoil across the globe.

“Hold fast to your values that you learned here at West Point,” Biden told the graduates.

He said they will have to uphold the oath they took on their first day at West Point. An oath taken to “not a political party, not to a president, but to the Constitution of the United States of America, against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

Biden said the class motto was fitting for the kinds of challenges they will face as new members of the Army, including supporting Ukraine in its war against Russia to facilitating the humanitarian aid efforts in Gaza and defending Israel from Iran, The Associated Press reported.

“There’s never been a time in history when we’ve asked our military to do so many different things in some many different places around the world, all at the same time,” he said.

Many of Biden’s sentiments were met with applause from the crowd, a contrast from when former President Trump delivered the commencement speech at West Point in 2020 and was met with criticism.

Trump gave his speech weeks after joining Mark Esper, the former secretary of defense, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley on a photo-op at St. John’s Episcopal Church.

Law enforcement forcefully removed George Floyd protesters so they could walk to the church. 2020 graduates wrote a letter urging them to uphold their oaths.

Similar to Biden’s remarks Saturday, the letter read: “We pledge service to no monarch; no government; no political party; no tyrant.”

“Your oath is to a set of principles and an ideal expressed in the Constitution and its amendments,” the letter said.

Biden did not mention Trump during his address, but stressed the importance of democracy as he continues his warnings about the upcoming election.

“Nothing is guaranteed about our democracy in America,” he said. “Every generation has an obligation to defend it, to protect it, to preserve it, to choose it. Now it’s your turn.”

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