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President Biden to speak at Coast Guard Academy commencement

The Associated Press

Vice President Joe Biden and Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp welcomed the U.S. Coast Guard Academy
NEW LONDON, Conn. — President Joe Biden is scheduled to deliver the keynote address during this month’s graduation ceremonies at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

The address, scheduled for May 19, will be the second time Biden has addressed a graduating class at the academy. He served as the keynote speaker in 2013 while serving as vice president.

This will be Biden’s first commencement address to a military service academy as commander in chief and his first official visit to Connecticut as president.

“It will be a memorable event for our community, as well as a great opportunity to showcase the academy and the city of New London on a national stage,” Rear Adm. Bill Kelly, the academy’s superintendent, said in a statement.

Presidents deliver commencement speeches to the U.S. military academies on a rotating schedule.

Lyndon Johnson was the first president to speak at a Coast Guard graduation, speaking to cadets in 1964. Harry Truman made the first presidential visit to the Coast Guard Academy in 1952.

A president last addressed the Coast Guard Academy graduating class in 2017, when President Donald Trump spoke.

The commencement exercises will be closed to the public and the number of guests will be greatly reduced from previous years as part of restrictions put in place because of the pandemic, school officials said. Those attending will be asked wear masks and be socially distanced, academy officials said.