Vice president to graduates: 'This is your moment'
By Tech. Sgt. Cortchie Welch , U.S. Air Force Academy Public Affairs
/ Published July 08, 2009
U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- Vice President Joe Biden, the U.S. Air Force Academy commencement speaker, told graduates and newly-commissioned second lieutenants from the class of 2009 "this is your moment to bend history to the service of a better day."
"You will carry our skies and beyond on your backs. I promise you, we will have your back. That is a guarantee," said Mr. Biden, addressing 1,046 graduates May 27 before they walked the stage to receive their degrees.
Mr. Biden told the graduates and their families that the administration considers their safety and care upon coming home from war a top priority. President Barack Obama made similar remarks May 22 at the Naval Academy graduation.
"Without you, we cannot survive," the vice president said.
About 33,000 spectators including family members, friends and faculty assembled at Falcon Stadium here to witness the Academy's 51st graduation ceremony. The ceremony included an Air Force Thunderbirds flyover as graduates jubilantly tossed their hats in the air, a traditional ending to the event.
The Academy is recognized as one of the nation's finest four-year institutions of higher learning. The school offers 32 academic majors including aeronautical engineering, biology, civil engineering, economics, computer science and space operations.
The Academy's broad program of intellectual, professional, physical and character development is designed to prepare cadets to be tomorrow's air and space leaders. Cadets complete four years of studies leading to a Bachelor of Science degree. Emphasis is given to academics, military training, athletic conditioning and spiritual and ethical development. The school's admission process focuses on the major Academy experiences: academic, leadership, athletic and character.