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VP Pence to deliver West Point commencement speech

Vice President Mike Pence during a visit to Minnesota in 2018. (Star Tribune/TNS/Released)
May 15, 2019

Vice President Mike Pence will be speaking at the graduation ceremony at West Point later this month.

The ceremony will be held Saturday, May 25 at West Point, and will be Pence’s first time delivering the graduation speech there, a West Point press release said on Monday.

“Vice President Mike Pence will serve as the commencement speaker for the U.S. Military Academy’s Class of 2019, West Point, New York, on Saturday, May 25. This will mark his second visit to West Point and his first time as graduation speaker,” the press release stated.

Approximately 1000 cadets are expected to graduate and receive their second lieutenant commission, the Times Herald-Record reported. Pence will award diplomas to the top ranking cadets.

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Pence has made one visit to West Point since he became Vice President. He attended the annual Henry O. Flipper Dinner in Feb. 2017 to commemorate the legacy of the first black man to ever graduate from West Point, which occurred in 1877.

Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was West Point’s 2018 graduation speaker. The class of 2018 featured 950 graduates, according to the Department of Defense.

“Regardless of where you find yourself serving in our Army, challenge yourself to be the kind of leader that continues to think about, to write about and to lead change. Bring your intellectual curiosity and the openness to new ideas that you established here at West Point, bring that with you in your days as an Army leader,” Dunford told the graduates at the time.

In 2017, former Defense Secretary and Marine Gen. James Mattis was the graduation speaker.

“We Americans are not made of cotton candy. You are a U.S. soldier, and you hold the line,” Mattis told the graduates. “The class of 2017 now joins an Army that left bloody footprints at Valley Forge…an army that defeated the Nazis’ last gasp at Bastogne.”

On Saturday, Pence delivered the commencement speech at the private Christian college Liberty University, one of the largest Christian schools in the world.

“The America that awaits your energies and ambitions is experiencing a new era of opportunity and optimism.  You’re beginning your careers at a time when this economy is growing.  And we’ve restored American stature at home and abroad,” Pence told the graduates.

“My word to all of you is decide here and now that you’re going to stand firm, that you’ll put into practice all the things you learned here on Liberty Mountain, that you’ll never give up, that you’ll persevere, and that you’ll always be prepared to give a reason for the hope that you have, and you’ll do so with gentleness and respect.  Because our nation and our world need that message of grace and love maybe more now than ever before,” he added.