The Corner

Champions

President Bush gave the commencement address at the Naval Academy this morning:

And as you begin your military careers, proceed with confidence, because our citizens are determined, our country is strong, and the future belongs to freedom. Across the world, liberty is on the march. In the last 18 months, we have witnessed a Rose Revolution in Georgia, an Orange Revolution in the Ukraine, a Purple Revolution in Iraq, a Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan, and a Cedar Revolution in Lebanon — and these are only the beginning. (Applause.) Across Central Asia and the broader Middle East, we are seeing the rise of a new generation whose hearts burn for liberty, and they are going to have it. America is standing with these democratic reformers because we know that the only force powerful enough to stop the rise of tyranny and terror, and replace hatred with hope, is the force of human freedom. And by extending freedom to millions who have not known it, we will advance the cause of peace and make America more secure. (Applause.)

Some of our men and women in uniform have given their lives in this cause, and others have returned home with terrible injuries. America honors their sacrifice, and we will uphold the cause they served. You are the ones who will take up their mantle, and carry on their fight, and ensure the triumph of liberty in the century ahead.

You are now part of the greatest force for freedom in the history of the world — the Armed Forces of the United States. In the years ahead, you will see dramatic changes taking place all around you. Yet amid all the tumult and change, there is one thing that won’t change — and that is character of our men and women who wear the uniform. This is your generation’s moment. Your mission is necessary and it is noble. The weapons you use will be more powerful and precise than those available to Annapolis graduates who came before you, and you will face enemies they never imagined. But what will make your success possible is the same thing that made their success possible: the courage and honor and personal integrity that you learned at this Academy.

We’re going to give you the tools you’ll need to prevail in today’s war on terror, and the capabilities you’ll need to protect us against the dangers that may yet emerge. Now the task is in your hands, and that means it is in the best of hands. Thank you for your courageous decision to serve. Bring honor to the uniform, security to our country, and peace to the world. And congratulations to every member of the class of 2005.

May God bless you.

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