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New London prepares for Vice Presidents appearance at Coast Guard graduation

The U.S. Coast Guard Academy will host its 141st commencement ceremony Wednesday with Vice President Kamala Harris delivering the keynote address.

NEW LONDON, Conn. — 252 cadets from the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London will graduate Wednesday. 

Vice President Kamala Harris will deliver the keynote address to the graduates. President Joe Biden spoke at the 2021 ceremony.

RELATED: New London police announce parking restrictions in advance of Vice President's visit

Mayor Michael Passero said this is always a big time of year for the city and the students who he credits for volunteering and becoming a part of the community.

"It’s been a pleasure hosting these fine young men and women," he said. 

The president and vice president speak at the event every four years. The mayor said they've had a lot of practice and work with many partners ahead of the celebration.

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Parking will not be allowed on these New London streets starting at 5 a.m. Wednesday. No parking signs will be posted. Tickets will be issued and vehicles will be towed.

Graduation is an important time for the city and for businesses. Tony D's owner Anthony D'Angelo said business booms during graduation.

"They all got to eat somewhere," he said. "It’s nice for the town especially the Coast Guards a big thing and sometimes it gets undermined here."

Isabella Talleyrand, who moved to New London within the last year, said she appreciates the fact the vice president is coming to town.

Vice President Harris is the first female and first black vice president which means a lot to Talleyrand. She said she hopes her speech focuses on the graduates.

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"Just make it about the young people moving on," she said. "There’s a different kind of special meaning having someone like her as V.P. for me in particular but that would be separate from what it means for her role to be one where she’s congratulating Coast Guard graduates."

President Joe Biden was in Buffalo, New York Tuesday to address the mass shooting at a grocery store. People in New London hope the vice president's speech at the academy focuses on the people of New London.

RELATED: Vice President Kamala Harris to speak at U.S. Coast Guard Academy commencement

"I hope she speaks to our children so our children in New London know that, 'Hey, that could be me someday,'" the mayor said. "I’m sure she’s going to be briefed and she knows she’s going to be in a community that’s very diverse, very progressive."

Many, including D'Angelo, hope there will be mention of the proposed Coast Guard Museum.

The ceremony, set to begin at 11 a.m., will feature the highest number of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the academy's history. It will be the 141st commencement ceremony. It is not open to the public.

Tony Black is a multi-media journalist at FOX61 News. He can be reached at tblack@fox61.com. Follow him on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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