West Point Says Graduation Ceremony Is Going Ahead

Trump will be the commencement speaker
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 22, 2020 2:45 PM CDT
Trump Will Be This Year's West Point Graduation Speaker
President d Trump points to the cheering crowd as he leaves an Independence Day celebration in front of the Lincoln Memorial, Thursday, July 4, 2019, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The US Military Academy at West Point has confirmed that this year's graduation will go ahead, with graduates present and President Trump as the commencement speaker—but it's not sure how big the ceremony will be. The academy in New York state said the event, which has been moved from May 23 to June 13, will "look different from recent graduation ceremonies due to current force health protection requirements," Lohud reports. Vice President Mike Pence, who was last year's West Point graduation speaker, addressed graduates of the Air Force Academy in Colorado on Saturday, but no spectators, including family members, were allowed, reports the Hill. Graduates sat 8 feet apart.

"They'll have some big distance, so it'll look very different than it ever looked," Trump said during a White House press briefing Friday, per CNN. He said that while he doesn't like the way a socially distanced crowd looks, "eventually, next year, they'll have a commencement like it's been ... nice and tight." He added: "I don’t want people to think that it's going to be like this forever. But, for a period of time, we're going to have to keep it that way." This will be Trump's first speech at the institution. (Barack Obama delivered the graduation speech in 2014.)

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