Vice President Kamala Harris made history Friday as the first woman to deliver the commencement address to graduates of the U.S. Naval Academy in its 175-year history.
In her remarks at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland, Harris thanked the graduates’ family and friends “for the sacrifices you have already made and will make.”
Harris told graduates of the Naval Academy — who will serve at least five years in the Navy or Marine Corps — that they would be taking the same oath that she did when she became vice president, “to support our Constitution and defend it against all enemies.”
The vice president spoke of “a new age, a new epoch,” that graduates would be entering, including a post-COVID-19 era. She thanked the military officers who helped vaccinate people across the country.
Calling climate change a “very real threat to our national security,” Harris noted that some of the graduates before her would become “the experts who will navigate and mitigate this threat,” including as engineers reinforcing sinking bases on U.S. coasts, or as electrical engineers helping to convert solar and wind energy into “combat power.”
This was far from Harris’ first time breaking barriers. She previously made history as the first woman, first Black and first Asian American vice president, as well as only the second Black woman to be elected as a U.S. senator and the first Black person and woman to be California’s attorney general.
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