President Obama Touts a New American Century to Air Force Grads

President Barack Obama salutes graduating cadets from the United States Air Force Academy (May 23, 2012)

President Barack Obama salutes graduating cadets as they cross the stage at the United States Air Force Academy commencement ceremony at Falcon Stadium, USAF Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, May 23, 2012. President Obama delivered the commencement address at the ceremony. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Four years ago, when President Obama made his first trip to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the class of 2012 was just beginning their tenure as cadets.

Today, he returned to deliver their commencement address. Acknowledging the continued need for the leadership and service the new graduates will provide, President Obama said the next century will be an American one:

I see an American Century because of the character of our country -- the spirit that has always made us exceptional. That simple yet revolutionary idea -- there at our founding and in our hearts ever since -- that we have it in our power to make the world anew, to make the future what we will. It is that fundamental faith -- that American optimism -- which says no challenge is too great, no mission is too hard. It’s the spirit that guides your class: "Never falter, never fail."

Approximately, 1,000 cadets graduated today and will soon begin their commissions as second lieutenants. Before leaving Falcon Field the President shook each of their hands.

Read his full remarks here.

Graduates toss their hats as the Thunderbirds flyover during the United States Air Force Academy commencement ceremony (May 23, 2012)

Graduates toss their hats as the Thunderbirds flyover during the United States Air Force Academy commencement ceremony at Falcon Stadium, USAF Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, May 23, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

President Barack Obama participates in the United States Air Force Academy commencement ceremony (May 23, 2012)

President Barack Obama participates in the United States Air Force Academy commencement ceremony at Falcon Stadium, USAF Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, May 23, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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