CAMBRIDGE, MA – Attorney General Merrick Garland told Harvard alumni on Sunday that their generation had been asked to show …
CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts (AP) – Attorney General Merrick Garland told Harvard graduates on Sunday that their generation had been asked to show an “impossible kind of resilience” after another mass shooting at another school.
“As we gather today to mark this milestone in your life, we are also experiencing great grief over another mass shooting at another school in our country,” he said. “An unspeakable act of violence devastated families and the entire community in Uwald, Texas. I know that I speak for all of us here, that our hearts are broken. “
While the U.S. mourns the victims of the latest mass shooting that shot dead 19 elementary school students and two teachers in Texas, Garland was the keynote speaker at the opening ceremony of Harvard classes in 2020 and 2021. Their personal ceremonies were postponed during the pandemic.
Garland said that before the mass shootings in Uwalde and the Buffalo supermarket in New York, as well as the attack on Taiwanese parishioners at a church in Laguna Woods, California, he decided to make a speech about public service. He said he still wants to do it because “these tragedies only underscore how relevant the call for public service really is for your generation.”
Garland was emotional when he said that his grandmother was one of five children born in present-day Belarus and that four siblings were trying to come to the United States. Three succeeded. The fourth was turned back, and the fifth did not try.
“The two who survived died during the Holocaust,” he said. “For me, public service is a way to repay the debt that my family has to this country for the rest of our lives. I know you all worked very hard to get here. Me too. And for various reasons, the fact that we are all here today makes us happy. So I hope you all make a promise, similar to what I made, to dedicate part of my life to public service. ”
Garland graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School, and later joined Harvard Supervisory Board. On Thursday, Harvard held its first personal exercise since 2019 to start the 2022 class, and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden delivered a keynote speech.
Garland said graduates who lead a part of their lives in ministry can “sew together the fabric of our civil society.”
“We need to convince our neighbors and our communities to reject the idea that violence or threats of violence are acceptable. We must work to dispel the hatred that incites such violence, ”he said. “Democracy cannot survive if its citizens renounce the rule of law in favor of violence or the threat of violence. We are all in this together. We have to protect each other. “
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