President Trump delivers remarks at the West Point graduation ceremony.
Marine One landed at West Point on the parade field at 9:56 AM. President Trump exited, wearing a blue suit and a red tie. He was greeted by the Superintendent, Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams, and his wife.
Those traveling with him included David Urban and Congressman Steve Womack of Arkansas, and Steven Miller. White House also said that David Schutzenhofer and Mickie Gallagher III, were traveling, who both appear to work for Trump National Golf Club.
The president is first stopping at the Superintendent’s House, an ornate white colonial with black shutters and black railings along the porch. There he is going to meet with cadet leadership, receive a briefing about the ceremony and view a historical artifact display.
Trump entered the house at 9:59 AM.
The White House provides the following excerpts of the president’s remarks:
In his speech to West Point graduates, the President will salute the service and sacrifice of the cadets, celebrate the storied heritage of West Point, and reaffirm America’s commitment to a strong military that is united in defense of our nation and inspired by our founding principles.
Excerpts from President Donald J. Trump’s remarks at the 2020 United States Military Academy at West Point Graduation Ceremony (as prepared for delivery)
This premier military academy produces only the best of the best—the strongest of the strong—and the bravest of the brave. West Point is a universal symbol of American gallantry, loyalty, devotion, discipline, and skill.
To the eleven hundred and seven cadets who today become the newest officers in the most exceptional Army ever to take the field of battle, I am here to offer America’s salute. THANK YOU for answering your nation’s call.
The members of this class have come from every state in our union. You have come from the farms and the cities, from states big and small, and from every race, religion, color, and creed. But when you entered these grounds, you became part of ONE TEAM, and ONE FAMILY, proudly serving ONE AMERICAN NATION. You became brothers and sisters pledging allegiance to the same timeless principles, joined together in a common mission: to protect our country, to defend our people, and to carry on the traditions of freedom, equality, and liberty that so many gave their lives to secure. You exemplify the power of shared national purpose to transcend all differences and achieve true unity. Today, you graduate as one class, and you embody one noble creed: DUTY, HONOR, COUNTRY.
You came to West Point because you know the truth: America is the greatest country in human history. And the United States Military is the greatest force for peace and justice the world has ever known.
What has historically made America unique is the durability of its institutions against the passions and prejudices of the moment? When times are turbulent, when the road is rough, what matters most is that which is permanent, timeless, enduring, and eternal.
The Army exists to preserve the Republic, and the strong foundations upon which it stands: Family. God. Country. Liberty. And Justice.
As Commander-in-Chief, I never forget for one instant the immense sacrifices we ask of those who wear this nation’s uniform.
President Trump exited the Superintendent’s house at 10:25 AM with the Superintendent. They walked down the steps together.
While the president’s car was parked outside the house, they started to walk toward the stage, which looks to be over a hundred yards away.
Canons were fired as they walked. They stopped in front of a statue of Douglas McArthur and continued on, along a path, approaching the stage which is in front of the rows of cadets standing in salute at distanced white chairs.
Before the president came out, the graduates marched in pairs toward the seats on the field, wearing grey and white dress uniforms, the men in pants and women in skirts.
The president and many of his aides are not wearing masks, neither were the Superindent and his wife.
The ceremony should start shortly.
President Trump entered the graduation to Hail to the Chief at 10:30 AM. The ceremony is now underway.
It will be streamed live at: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheWestPointChannel/
The White House offers the following details:
Today, President Donald J. Trump will deliver the commencement address at the 2020 United States Military Academy at West Point to honor the cadets for their incredible accomplishments and selfless commitment to serving in the United States Armed Forces.
The following individuals are expected to attend:
The White House
President Donald J. Trump
Members of Congress
Representative Steve Womack, United States Representative from Arkansas’ 3rd Congressional District and Chairman of the United States Military Academy Board of Visitors
LTG Darryl Williams, 60th Superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point Father
(COL) Matthew Pawlikowski, Chaplain of the United States Military Academy at West Point
BG Cindy Jebb, Dean of the Academic Board of the United States Military Academy at West Point
BG Curtis A. Buzzard, 78th Commandant of the United States Corps of Cadets of the United States Military Academy at West Point
2LT Daine Van De Wall, Graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point Class of 2020
Secretary Ryan McCarthy, Secretary of the Army
GEN James C. McConville, 40th Chief of Staff of the United States Army
Dr. Casey Wardnyski, Assistant Secretary of the Army
CSM Jack H. Love, 20th Command Sergeant Major of the United States Military Academy at West Point
CSM Ken Killingsworth, 25th Command Sergeant Major of the United States Corps of Cadets of the United States Military Academy at West Point
Mike Buddie, Director of Athletics of the United States Military Academy at West Point
1,000 Graduates of the United States Military Academy at West Point Class of 2020
The event kicked off with a musical tribute to the Army, marking the 245th anniversary. The music a band playing a version of “Simple Gifts” as the graduates spoke about the value of the American soldier, as well as a soloist singing a song about soldiers and a rendition of “America the Beautiful.”
The president sat in a stage with top officials. There are military vehicles on either side and helicopters behind. The stage was flanked by two giant screens airing the ceremony, with the graduates’ seats angled toward them.
Lt. Gen Darryl Williams opened the ceremony, thanking the president for being there. “The class of 2020 has a special message for you,” he said, calling them to their feet and shouting “Go Army.” The graduates yelled back “Beat Navy.
President Trump began speaking at 10:47 AM. He concluded at 11:16 AM.
Acknowledging the socially distanced ceremony, the president addressed the family members watching remotely, saying: “Even though you could not be here today, we know that this day could never have happened without you.” He then asked the graduates to give their families a round of applause.
He referenced the pandemic, calling it an “invisible enemy” and saying “We will extinguish this plague.”
The president directly thanked the National Guard, saying they responded: “with precision to so many challenges from hurricanes and natural disasters to ensuring peace, safety and the constitutional rule of law on our streets.”
He also noted the war to “extinguish the evil of slavery” and said the“Army was at the forefront of ending the terrible injustice of segregation”
One student Trump recognized individually was in one of those seats facing away from the stage. Trump asked her to stand up and says “they didn’t give you a very good seat.”
The president drew applause when he mentioned a graduate who had died and got a laugh when he noted that June 13 is the birthday of the army and “it’s going to be my birthday also.”
After the president spoke, a series of video messages were played, including one from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. “You make me proud as a fellow old grad,” he said.