As Speaker of the New York State Assembly, it is both my honor and privilege to pause the proceedings of this house to continue a very special tradition.
For more than 60 years, we have celebrated the rich history of the prestigious United States Military Academy at West Point by hosting a distinguished delegation here in the New York State Capitol.
Leading today's delegation is Lieutenant General Robert Caslen Superintendent of the United States Military Academy.
Joining him are:
Honored guests… on behalf of every member of this body… every community represented in this chamber… it is my pleasure to welcome you to the People's House of the New York State Legislature.
Please join me in giving them a warm Assembly welcome.
As this is my first time commemorating West Point Day as speaker, this is a very special moment for me.
For 213 years the United States Military Academy has stood proudly in our beautiful and historic Hudson Valley… a testament to the principles of duty... honor… and country. It has attracted the best and brightest from across the country because these are the men and women who have distinguished themselves as the future leaders of this nation.
As we often say, it is no small thing to choose a life of service. It is even more extraordinary to be chosen. As we know all too well sacrifice is heavy… few are capable of bearing this weight but each of you joining us today have made a commitment to carry duty, honor and country with you for the rest of your lives.
You have been chosen to carry the precious future of this country on your shoulders.
Each day, as free citizens… we go about our lives under the cover of freedom and security that is woven by the members of our armed forces.
We raise our families and pursue our dreams in hopes of making the world a better place but too often we forget…
We forget that the DREAM of a better tomorrow takes place in our minds and in our hearts but the fight for a better tomorrow takes place on the battlefield… and is hard won with the blood of our service members who commit their lives to our defense.
And for that… we here… on behalf of each and every one of our constituents thank you.
Per tradition… in just a few moments we will take up a resolution honoring the legacy of the West Point Military Academy and the integral role it has played in the history of our state and our nation.
Thank you again… from the bottom of our hearts… for your service… for your protection… for your sacrifice.
God bless you.