Transcript for Tom Hanks delivers Harvard University 2023 commencement speech
- The books divine that there has never been a graduating class that has not faced the greatest challenges of all time.
That come every spring the maelstrom of history swirl so wildly that no matter the year, the era, or the generation, there is always an atmospheric river of events that makes right now the hinge upon which our fate is turning. And we here in the stands look at you all in the caps and the gowns and we hope, oh, at last, help is on the way. Somewhere matriculating today is a man of iron, a woman of steel, a superhuman just in the nick of time.
The work is the keeping of the promises of our promised land, the practice of decency, the protection of freedom, and the promotion of liberty for all with no exceptions. And, man, that takes on a lot of work.
It's work that is done on multiple job sites every single day. And you can call each of them the battle for truth, justice, and the Americas way-- yes, the American way. If we do the work, justice and the American way are within our grasp no matter our gender, our faith, our station, our heritage, or genetic makeup, the shade and hue of our flesh, or the continental birthplace of our ancestors.
Why is that truth so hard for some to accept, much less respect? If you live in the United States of America, the responsibility is yours, ours. The effort is optional. But the truth-- the truth is sacred, unalterable, chiseled into the stone of the foundation of our republic.
All of us are able, none of us are super. We are the Americans. Liberty and justice is for us all, because, yes, we have specific names. And we have lived every year of our ages. But when it comes to race, we are all uniquely, magnificently, simply human. Godspeed. Congratulations.
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