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Garland urges public service in Harvard address: 'Democracy is under threat'

Attorney General Merrick Garland urged Harvard University’s graduating class to go into public service to combat the ongoing turmoil in the U.S., saying that “democracy is under threat.” 

Delivering his commencement address to the university’s graduating class of 2020 and 2021 on Sunday, Garland spoke about how he saw citizens offering to volunteer in the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. 

“Earlier in my career, I spent weeks in Oklahoma City investigating the bombing of a federal building,” Garland said. “I saw – and I felt – how consequential an outpouring of volunteer services could be. Oklahomans lined up to offer care and comfort to those who were hurting – survivors and first responders, neighbors and strangers alike.”

“But it should not take a tragedy to prompt us to look for ways, that day in and day out, we can help those who need our help,” Garland added. 

“There is one particular reason that makes my call to public service especially urgent for your generation. It is an urgency that should move each of you, regardless of the career you choose,” Garland said. “It is the urgent need to defend democracy.” 

“Both at home and abroad, we are seeing the many ways in which democracy is under threat,” Garland said. 

The school held virtual graduations for the class of 2020 and 2021 but also celebrated commencement for these years at the first in-person graduation since the start of the pandemic, according to the school.

Garland also addressed threats occurring abroad, citing Russia’s war in Ukraine but highlighted ones faced in the U.S. including efforts to undermine voting, violence and the mob that attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Source: The Hill

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