Vice Presidenton Saturday praised the courage of 972 graduating army cadets at West Point Military Academy while focusing on the challenges the 9/11 generation will be faced with in the future.
Delivering the commencement address to the graduates of West Point, Joe Biden said that the cadets deserve a special praise due to their decision to pursue army despite of being aware of the dangers that lie ahead and at a time when the sacrifices could not have been greater. "Your generation, the 9/11 generation, is more than worthy of the proud legacy that you will inherit today," said Biden, according to a report by MSNBC.
Biden also mentioned the Afghan war's extraordinary cost that America continues to pay, not just in monetary terms but also in the form of the precious lives of its 4,422 brave soldiers, 87 of which belong to the West Point family. "Those warriors sent a message to the world that if you harm America, we will follow you to the end of the Earth," he said.
Reflecting on the future challenges, Biden said that the responsibilities of the soldiers of this generation are far beyond the base or the battleground. “Young men and women steeped in military doctrine have had to master the intricacies of tribal politics, deal with issues ranging from electricity to unemployment, currency exchange to taxation,” he said. “You are a remarkable, remarkable, remarkable group.”
Biden further said that putting an end to such wars as the Afghan war will allow the United States to regain its balance on foreign policy and to shift its focus back on the global economy. He added that the most critical relationship United States is facing at this point is the one with China, since the countries are the two biggest economies of the world and may define the direction the 21st century will be moving in.
Biden ended his speech by praising the cadets once again declaring them the leaders of tomorrow. "You are the leaders of your generation, that 9/11 generation that I predict will go down in history as the finest generation this country has ever produced," he concluded.
The speech was followed by awarding of diplomas and the hat tossing ceremony marking the 214th graduating batch's convocation at West Point.