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Al Gore Addresses West Point Class of 2000Aired May 27, 2000 - 9:27 a.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: The U.S. military academy West Point is holding graduation ceremonies for the class of 2000 as we speak. Addressing the group, Vice President Al Gore, Democratic presidential candidate as well.
Let's listen in for just a little bit.
ALBERT A. GORE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: ... that this academy has to offer our country. Thank you for your service.
And I want to congratulate this remarkable class of 2000. You have earned this day. You have survived the toughest, most rigorous undergraduate curriculum anywhere in the entire world. They are proud of you, and they should be proud of you. Congratulations!
You are the best. Now, of course, we all know who you want to acknowledge for giving you the talent, the drive, and the tenacity to survive the world's toughest undergraduate testing ground. We all know who you want to acknowledge for instilling in you the values of service and patriotism that you are now bringing to the service of your country.
And on your behalf, I too want to congratulate the parents and families and loved ones and friends of the class of 2000. Thank you all for pointing these young men and women in the direction of service to the United States of America.
Now, right off the bat, please allow me to forthrightly and directly address what I know is at this very moment the principal concern on the minds of some of you. This will not be a long speech.
In conclusion, let me briefly mention one of my principal concerns at this moment, and it is a concern based on my own personal experience when I was your age. As I have done previously, on the way to this ceremony, I pondered long and hard to try to the best of my ability to remember who gave the commencement address when I got my baccalaureate degree. And I honestly have no idea.
Thirty years from now, I dare say that some of you will scratch your heads and wonder, Who gave that address? Unless I just tricked you into remembering.
Now, I must say that I was deeply honored by the invitation to come here. I have spoken to the corps of cadets before, but never at a commencement. And so I did some research. And I must warn you that, as part of my research last evening, I watched the video of your 100th night's (ph) show, entitled "What Went Wrong With the Class of 2000?"
It was a truly phenomenal video. The real question, I think, is what went right with the class of 2000. Your class has produced four Rhodes Scholars, more than any class in 30 years. You have an all- American track star, you have sent four teams to the NCAA championship tournaments this year, and the baseball team is still in contention for the national championship and is playing a critical game today. And the members of that team were graduated separately at 8:00 this morning, and we wish them luck in that critical game today.
O'BRIEN: Vice President Al Gore offering a prelude to his commencement address at West Point, graduation day there. He will go on to talk about national defense issues. CNN will be watching it, and we'll bring you excerpts of that later on CNN, so stay with us.
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