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Obama predicts 'great American century' in Air Force Academy talk

May 23, 2012|By Christi Parsons
  • President Obama salutes as he arrives to deliver the commencement address at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.
President Obama salutes as he arrives to deliver the commencement address… (Jewel Samad / AFP/Getty…)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- President Obama proclaimed the U.S. “exceptional” in the world as he paid tribute Wednesday to what he called the “finest, most capable military the world has ever known.”

Speaking to graduates at the U.S. Air Force Academy here, Obama heralded the dawn of “another great American century” that he predicted will see recovery from tough economic times, new nation-building at home and an important role in the world.

No other nation seeks the role the U.S. plays in global affairs, Obama told a crowd of thousands, and no other nation can play that role.

The address was the fourth commencement speech Obama has given at a military academy since taking office. He has used those speeches to future Army, Navy and Coast Guard officers to mark the evolution in American military strategy and the role of the U.S. military.

On Wednesday, Obama told Air Force cadets they will face a “new test” in a world where the country’s power depends not only on its military might but on its diplomacy, its economics and its ideas.

For a decade the country has "labored under the cloud of war," Obama said, but today we can "see the light of a new day" on the horizon.

After Obama spoke on the field of the Falcons football stadium, the 2012 graduates named Obama an honorary member of their class.

After the commencement, Obama was scheduled to attend three campaign events, delivering remarks at a fundraising reception at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. He then was set to travel to Atherton, Calif., for remarks at a private residence, where musicians David Crosby and Graham Nash are scheduled to perform.

The final event of the evening is at Fox Theater in Redwood City, Calif., where Ben Harper is to perform.

christi.parsons@latimes.com

Original source: Obama predicts 'great American century' in Air Force Academy speech

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