Bush invokes Truman at West Point address

President Bush is saluted by cadets as he arrives to deliver the commencement address during graduation ceremonies at the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., on Saturday.Justin Lane / EPA
/ Source: The Associated Press

The U.S. will take the fight against terrorism to every shore and outpost in pursuit of enemies like none before, not relenting until their defeat and showing the same resolve that won the Cold War, President Bush told West Point graduates Saturday.

“America will fight the terrorists on every battlefront. And we will not rest until this threat to our country has been removed,” the commander in chief said in his commencement address at the U.S. Military Academy.

Bush recounted the challenges and setbacks in the early years after World War II, when the Cold War took root. He commended President Truman for laying the groundwork of success against communism and said that what was he was doing today against a more elusive enemy, global terrorists.

“By the actions he took, the institutions he built, the alliances he forged and the doctrines he set down, President Truman laid the found for America’s victory in the Cold War,” Bush said.

“Today at the start of a new century, we are again engaged in a war unlike any our nation has fought before. And like Americans in Truman’s day, we are laying the foundations of victory,” the president said.

To the 861 men and woman in West Point’s 208th graduating class, Bush warned them that “the enemies we face today are in many ways different than the enemies we faced in the Cold War. The terrorists have no borders to protect or capital to defend. They cannot be deterred but they will be defeated.”

The class of 2006 was the first time arrive at the academy after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

“The reality of war has surrounded you since your first moments at this academy,” Bush told the audience. He noted that more than 50 fellow cadets already have seen combat, and 34 former cadets have died in the fight against terrorism.

“We will honor the memory of those brave souls. We will finish the task for which they gave their lives. We will complete the mission,” Bush said.