July 24, 2021

Navy SEAL who oversaw the Osama bin Laden raid says ‘Batman and Superman are not coming’ in a speech advising college graduates to become their own heroes

Retired US Navy Adm. William McRaven, the former head of US Special Operations Command and the commander who oversaw the military raid that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, told college graduates that they, not super heroes, must be the ones to “save the world” in an online commencement speech on Friday afternoon.

In a speech to the graduates of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, McRaven said he initially prepared a speech that included “cute little anecdotes” suggesting the “brilliant men and women of MIT are like the Navy SEALs of academia.”

“But somehow that speech just didn’t seem right in light of all that has happened in the past five months,” McRaven said. “The fact that I am standing here alone, and you are isolated somewhere at home, is proof enough that the world has changed.”

“After all these years, I came to realize that the heroes that we need are not the heroes that I’ve been searching for,” McRaven said. “But as I grew up and traveled the world, and as I saw more of my fair share of war and destruction, I came to the hard truth that Captain America isn’t coming to the rescue. There is no Superman, no Batman, no Wonder Woman, no Black Widow … no Gandalf, no Harry Potter.”

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