Graduation ceremonies for the armed services have usually been small scale events that the president spoke at and rarely made the news cycle, until Donald Trump occupied the Oval Office and even managed to screw those up – by making what should be a short speech with congratulatory remarks somehow be all about him and his own war with the media.
On Wednesday, President Biden made his remarks to the Coast Guard Class of 2021 and once again showed a sharp contrast between himself and the former guy. Although Trump made headlines with his insulting remarks about veterans being losers and suckers, largely because he never understood what it meant to sacrifice for the greater good, President Biden made it clear that first and foremost, the day belonged to the graduating class and their families.
It was a good start, and then the president went on to reveal his own deep admiration for the armed services with a story of how his son Hunter used his mother’s maiden name when he enlisted so he wouldn’t get preferential treatment as the son of a senator, and then he went further to talk about the significance of the Coast Guard and their work – as tensions flare in the Arabian Gulf, the South China Sea, and the climate crisis worsens in the Arctic and threatens national security.
He spoke about how women make up a third of the new graduating class, and minorities make up just over one-third – a class that looks like America, and the solemn duty each of them have in preserving diplomacy and democracy, and as brief as it was, he was clearly setting forth a vision for a peaceful and prosperous America that we should all strive for.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making