Vice President Kamala Harris Becomes First Female to Give Commencement Speech at U.S. Naval Academy’s Commencement

Vice President Kamala Harris gestures as she delivers remarks at the graduation and commissioning ceremony for the U.S. Naval Academy’s Class of 2021 at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., May 28, 2021. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday became the first woman to give the commencement speech at the United States Naval Academy when she addresses the 2021 graduating class.

During the speech, Harris touched on some of the biggest threats to the nation and its armed forces, including the pandemic, cybersecurity and climate change. One White House official said the address was her first broad speech focused on the military and the threats the country faces today.

“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,” Harris 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.”

Presidents and vice presidents deliver commencement speeches at the service academies each year on a rotating basis. Last week, President Joe Biden delivered the commencement address at the US Coast Guard Academy. In 2015, he spoke at the Naval Academy, as did former President Donald Trump in 2018.

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SOURCE: CNN, Jasmine Wright

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