A U.S. Naval Academy graduate is congratulated and receives their diploma from President Joe Biden during the U.S. Naval Academy graduation and commissioning ceremony in Annapolis, Md., Friday, May 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
ANNAPOLIS, Maryland — President Joe Biden told Naval Academy graduates Friday that they will be “representatives and defenders of our democracy,” as free societies are under threat from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to China’s maritime expansion.
Delivering a commencement address to more than 1,000 newly commissioned ensigns and second lieutenants at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Biden said the Western response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “brutal” war in Ukraine shows the world is aligning not on geography, “but in terms of values.”
He called the invasion, “A direct assault on the fundamental tenets of rules-based international order,” adding, “that’s the world you’re graduating into.”
“The actions taken by Putin were an attempt, to use my phrase, to Finland-ize all of Europe, to make it all neutral,” Biden said. “Instead, he NATO-ized all of Europe.”
Biden told graduates that while they will learn to fly the most advanced planes, staff cutting-edge ships and utilize novel technologies, “The most powerful tool that you’ll wield is our unmatched network of global alliances and the strength of our partnerships.”
The president told graduates that they will “defend the international rules of the road,” particularly in the Indo-Pacific region where they will be called on to “ensure freedom of navigation in the South China Sea and beyond.”
“These longstanding maritime principles are the bedrock of a global economy and of global stability,” he said. “You’re going to help knit together our allies in Europe with our allies in the Indo-Pacific.”
Biden did not address two mass shootings in as many weeks in his remarks. He, along with first lady Jill Biden, will visit Uvalde, Texas on Sunday to console grieving families after Tuesday’s shooting at an elementary school that killed 19 children and two teachers, the White House said.
Biden’s remarks to the Naval Academy marked his first commencement address of the year. He is also set to deliver remarks at Saturday’s graduation ceremony at the University of Delaware, his alma mater.
The president opened his speech by paying tribute to the class of 2022’s resilience in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and with a customary pardoning of any minor infractions made by midshipmen during their time in the academy.
He also paid tribute for former Republican Sen. John McCain, who is interred on the grounds of the academy, saying, “Being here I can’t help think of John and how the naval academy meant so much to him.”
MADRID (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expressing optimism that humanitarian corridors could be opened to enable the export of Ukrainian grain to the rest of the world amid Russia’s war.
PHILADELPHIA – The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley announced that the Evzones, the Presidential Guard of Greece will be participating in the Philadelphia Greek Independence Day Parade on March 20.
O oceanic you sing and sail
White on your body and yellow on your chimeneas
For you're tired of the filthy waters of the harbors
You who loved the distant Sporades
You who lifted the tallest flags
You who sail clear through the most dangerous caves
Hail to you who let yourself be charmed by the sirens
Hail to you for never having been afraid of the Symplegades
What traveler has not been fascinated by the Greek islands, drawn by the Sirens’ song of a traveler’s dreams?
TNH and our video show ‘Mission’ marked the change of the season by transporting viewers into the heart of summer.
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