As the UC Santa Barbara and Isla Vista communities continue to heal from the night of May 23, when a lone assailant murdered six university students, Vice President Joe Biden has delivered a personal video message ahead of this weekend’s commencement ceremonies. In his nearly five-minute address, Biden compliments the student body for banding together so resolutely in love and support, and he promises them that their heartache — while still heavy and sometimes overwhelming so soon after the tragic events — will one day turn into positive memories of those lost.
Watch the video below:
Biden’s message was prompted by the efforts of UCSB student Kyley Scarlet, who wrote a letter to Michelle Obama with the hope that the First Lady would visit UCSB’s campus in a gesture of support before graduation. While that request couldn’t be granted, according to Scarlet in a press release, Congressmember Lois Capps and her daughter Laura promised Scarlet that her letter would be seen by the White House.
“Our community has endured a lot over the last three weeks,” Capps said in a statement. “But this tragedy has also served to bring our community closer together and unite us. I am thankful to Vice President Biden for recording this encouraging and inspiring video for the UCSB and Isla Vista communities. It means a lot to our community to have him voice his support.”