NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) — Anytime a President comes to town there’s typically a great deal of excitement, and quite often, some protests.
Air Force One landed at the Groton New London airport right around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday morning. From there, President Obama and his motorcade made the drive to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. The graduation ceremony began around 11:00 a.m., with the President taking the podium to give his commencement address right around 11:30.
His speech to the graduating class focused on climate change, and the risk this global threat poses to our national security. At one point, President Obama told the cadets that they are part of the first generation of officers to begin service in a world where the effects of climate change are clearly upon us.
While all of this was going on, there were people who set up outside the academy. Some were here to be part of all the fanfare of the graduation and the presidential visit. Others expressed the concerns they have over President Obama being in office. Many of them holding up signs to get their point across.
“To me, it’s probably a once in a lifetime experience,” one spectator said. “I was very excited about it. I’m glad i came and i did get to see him drive by.”
Lee Elci from Waterford had a different opinion.
“On an everyday basis a lot of folks are concerned with race relations. I get calls every single day. You would think a President with his background would be able to unify the country, but it’s sort of been the opposite.”
Hamden’s Joseph Samela Jr. was happy to see how a Presidential visit works first-hand.
“I’d like to be inside to hear what the President has to say in respect to the office, and I’m just out here to see what’s going on in terms of the pomp and circumstance, and security that goes around it.”
After the graduation, President Obama will travel to Stamford, where he will attend a private Democratic fundraiser before heading back to Washington.