"He's the commander in chief, that's his call," Sue Fulton, a West Point graduate and former chairwoman of the academy's Board of Visitors, said of the president, per the Times. "Cadets are certainly excited about the opportunity to have something like the classic graduation, standing together, flinging their hats in the air."
However, Fulton reportedly said that "everyone is leery about bringing 1,000 cadets into the New York metropolitan area for a ceremony."
"It's definitely a risk," she added.
West Point said in a statement last week that the ceremony "will look different from recent graduation ceremonies because of current force health protection requirements." West Point’s superintendent told the Times that the returning students would be tested for coronavirus before being allowed back on campus and they would follow other safety protocols, such as wearing masks.
Last Saturday, Vice President Mike Pence delivered the commencement address in person at the 2020 graduates U.S. Air Force Academy. During the ceremony, cadets wore face masks, marched six feet apart, and were placed in socially distanced seats. Family members and spectators were banned from attending.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, opted not to hold an in-person graduation ceremony due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, a virtual event is set for the graduating midshipmen.
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