Bush to address West Point graduates
WASHINGTON --President Bush will tell U.S. Military Academy graduates on Saturday that victory in the fight against Islamic radicals rests on their shoulders.
"Your generation will bring us victory in the war on terrorism," White House press secretary Tony Snow said the president will tell the cadets.
Bush plans to leave from the Camp David, Md., presidential retreat on Saturday morning to fly to West Point, N.Y., to deliver the commencement address to the class of 2006 -- the first to arrive at the academy after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
"He's going to thank them for stepping forward at a time of war," Snow said Friday in previewing the speech. "He's going to discuss the long war with Islamic radicalism ... suggesting that this may be the focus of a lot of their military careers."
The president also will discuss how the military is being transformed to meet the challenges of fighting against Islamic radicals, and talk about how President Truman confronted communism after World War II.
The speech at West Point is one of four Bush is delivering to graduates this year. Earlier this month, he spoke to graduates at Oklahoma State University and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. He's to give a commencement address June 19 at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.
On Monday, Bush is to commemorate Memorial Day by making remarks at Arlington National Cemetery and laying a wreath at the cemetery's Tomb of the Unknowns.
The president also is to sign H.R. 5037, legislation to bar demonstrators from disrupting military funerals at national cemeteries. The measure specifically targets a Kansas church group that has staged protests at military funerals around the country, claiming that the deaths were a sign of God's anger at U.S. tolerance of homosexuals.
The president also will sign H.R. 1499, which would let combat soldiers deposit tax-free pay into individual retirement accounts. Supporters of the bill argued that rules governing these accounts were punishing soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq who earn only tax-free combat pay.