NEWARK, Del. – President Joe Biden told graduates Saturday at his alma mater, the University of Delaware, that “now is your hour” as he encouraged young people across the United States to help the country live up to its ideals.
Speaking to more than 6,000 graduates and the nation mourning the victims of two mass shootings in as many weeks. Biden lamented the division and hatred in the country he rules. He lamented a “crisis of faith” in US institutions and urged graduates to work to dress up the country’s wounds.
“Your generation, more than any other, will have to answer the question: Who are we? what do we stand for what do we believe Who are we going to be?” said Biden. “You can make the difference, you can build the country, you can face the challenges of our time.”
“There is one message I hope you will take away from me today: This is no time to stand on the sidelines,” he added. “We need you all to participate in public life and in the life of this nation.”
Biden urged graduates to remember that “democracy is a human enterprise.”
“We’re doing a lot of things well,” said the President. “Sometimes we fall short. This is true in our own life. It’s true in the life of the nation. And yet democracy makes progress possible. And progress comes when we begin to see each other again, not as enemies, but as neighbors.’”
Biden spoke of the country’s bitter division over Vietnam in the 1960s and the grief that followed the assassination of “heroes” — two Kennedys and Martin Luther King Jr. President said.
“Well, now is your hour. The challenges at home and abroad are immense, but so are the opportunities. … Anything is possible in America,” he said. “This is a pivotal decade for America at a time when we can choose the future we want, at a time when we must decide that darkness will not triumph over light.”
The president said this year’s grads have a head start as they represent a generation that is “the most generous, the most tolerant, the least prejudiced, the best educated” in American history.
“Keep the faith and take it back,” he admonished. “Please. That’s yours. take it back We need you.”
Biden also pointed to recent mass shootings: 19 children and two teachers were killed Tuesday at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and on May 14 a racially hate gunman killed 10 black people at a convenience store in Buffalo, New York.
“Too much violence. Too much fear. Too much sadness,” Biden said in his closing speech. “To put it bluntly, evil came into this elementary school classroom in Texas, into this grocery store in New York, into far too many places where innocents have died.”
The President said, “We can’t ban tragedy, I know, but we can make America safer.” He called on “all Americans at this hour to join hands and speak out, to work together to make this nation what it can and should be.” ”
Biden was presented with the university’s award prior to his remarks. He had previously received an honorary doctorate in 2004.
Biden, who graduated from college in 1965 with a double major in history and political science, was a Delaware senator for more than 30 years before becoming vice president. It was his fifth inaugural address at the university where the School of Public Policy and Administration bears his name. He also spoke to graduates in 1978, 1987, 2004, and 2014. His sister, Valerie Biden Owens, and his wife, First Lady Jill Biden, also graduated from the university.
“It feels like coming home because this is home,” Biden said, reflecting that “some of the best and most important years of my life have been spent here.”
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https://www.local10.com/news/politics/2022/05/28/biden-tells-delaware-grads-to-step-up-now-its-your-hour/ Biden urges Delaware grads to step up, ‘now is your hour’