Senator James Skoufis (D-39) shares remarks in the Senate chamber in honor of West Point Day, an annual tradition celebrating the service and dedication of cadets past, present, and future. Footage courtesy of Senate Media, March 24, 2022.
TRANSCRIPT OF REMARKS
On the resolution, Madame President:
It is my great honor and privilege to rise today as the Senator from the 39th district, home to the United States Military Academy at West Point.
West Point’s long and decorated history along the Hudson River dates back to the American Revolution. Conceived by President Washington at a time of great uncertainty for a budding democratic nation, West Point stands as a beacon of duty, honor, and country, and has launched the careers of some of America’s finest military and civilian leaders.
In preparing to greet these young cadets today, my mind couldn’t help but consider what’s happening in Eastern Europe. As we watch what’s unfolding in Ukraine, I am struck by the unity and indefatigable resolve of the Ukrainian people. Their fight is one borne not just of necessity, but of pride in their homes, in their heritage, and in the democratic ideals they’re battling so diligently to protect. Though we’re a world away, I know that this same pride and patriotism courses through each of us. If met with an existential threat akin to Russia’s brutal, foolhardy display, I have no doubt that the American people would cast aside our differences – however unbridgeable they may seem from time to time – in defense of democracy.
And, we would be led by the cadets we see before us. These young men and women represent the bright future of American diplomacy and strength. As their representative in this hallowed chamber, I believe I can safely speak for all of my colleagues in vowing to never lose sight of their sacrifices – past, present, or future – and their commitment to defend the hard-won freedoms we so often, unfortunately, take for granted.
Cadets, my colleagues and I are profoundly grateful to each of you for dedicating your lives to our liberty, whether in peace or in peril. We hope this day serves as a small token of our gratitude. Know that the lawmakers gathered before you respect and honor your service. Thank you, and of course... Go Army, Beat Navy.