WEST POINT, N.Y. — President Donald Trump will address the graduating class of the United States Military Academy at West Point for the first time on Saturday.
The altered ceremony for the more than 1,000 cadets will implement social distancing measures aimed at preventing transmission of the coronavirus disease.
The West Point cadets, referred to as members of “The Long Gray Line,” will graduate on the Plain instead of the academy’s Michie Stadium, the usual venue. Instead of sitting shoulder to shoulder, the Army’s new second lieutenants will be socially distant, with their chairs 6 feet apart. Their families and other guests will not be allowed to attend.
Trump’s visit to West Point comes amid growing calls to remove Confederate names and statues from public spaces – including calls from some West Point graduates to their own academy. The long debate over whether to remove or preserve symbols of the Confederacy was reignited by the nationwide protests against structural racism and police brutality in the wake of the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, at the hands of Minneapolis police.
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