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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Dick Cheney Addresses Naval Academy Graduates

Aired May 24, 2002 - 10:20   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Well, it is all over but the shouting right now for those at the U.S. Naval Academy who have made it all the way through the program. There is the commencement ceremony, which has just gotten under way a little while ago.

And Vice President Dick Cheney is the commencement speaker.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: ... the president and I and all who have gathered here today thank you for your outstanding service to this great American institution.

(APPLAUSE)

President Bush also sent me here with an instruction concerning minor conduct offenses. We talked about it. The president felt very strongly that we should be lenient. Me, I could have gone either way.

(LAUGHTER)

But in the end, we agreed, and at his direction, I hereby absolve the midshipmen on restriction of minor conduct offenses.

(APPLAUSE)

In little more than an hour, you will be commissioned officers. But your journey does not end today, and it did not begin on induction day.

Very early in life, the people who know you best, who care the most, set you on a path to the rank and to the respect that you've now earned. For those people, your parents, this is a glorious day, too. So let's take a moment to thank them with a round of applause.

(APPLAUSE)

As you leave for your different assignments, all 965 of you will take away many memories of this place to be recalled whenever two or three shall meet. And I know that when you think back to these years, you'll never forget two young men who did not live to see this day. You'll think of Midshipman Steven Douglas (ph), who shared those early months with you and was taken so suddenly. And you'll think of Midshipman Ken Neptune (ph) who said farewell only a few weeks ago. His mother and father, who are with us today, can know that their son went to his rest with the respect and the love of the class of 2002.

You're about to collect a diploma that sets you apart and places you among the 68,000 in the nation's history who have called themselves graduates of the United States Naval Academy. You have been tested mentally, physically and morally. You have learned to give direct, unequivocal answers to be loyal in all circumstances, while never compromising on the truth, to go beyond what is expected toward a standard of excellence, to be fair and just and strong in adversity. You know what it means to be a person of integrity. All of these qualities, four years ago, defined the kind of person you hoped to become, the kind of person the Navy knew you could be.

Each one of you has earned the right to be called a Naval or Marine Corps officer. Because of that sole distinction, certain values will be automatically attributed to you: honor and courage, commitment and accountability, service and duty. For four years, you've studied the United States military and its history. And this afternoon, with one oath you will step into history. I am told...

HARRIS: Vice President Dick Cheney, there, delivering the commencement address there at the U.S. Naval Academy. Our congratulations all to of the cadets who will be throwing their hats up in the air, maybe an hour and half from now. We might get a chance to see it.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: And what a great commencement speaker to have -- Dick Cheney. Wow, good for them.

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