Bono tells grads: Fight poverty

May 18, 2004 at 9:24 AM
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PHILADELPHIA, May 18 (UPI) -- Rock singer Bono, speaking at commencement ceremonies at the University of Pennsylvania, called on graduates to restore the United States' positive image.

Bono, who fronts the Irish band U2, told a crowd at Penn's Franklin Field, "This is the time for bold measures ... and you are the generation."

Bono is known for his work on behalf of Africa and used his speech Monday to draw attention to AIDS on that continent and Third World debt, issues he described as an "emergency," the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

He said the generation of the graduates could wipe out poverty.

"It's an expensive fact but cheaper than fighting wave after wave of terrorism's new recruits. I believe America can do this. America is just not a country. It's an idea, an idea that brings with it responsibility," Bono said.

Graduate Alexander Lapinski told the Inquirer: "Bono was right. Hopefully this class of graduates can make us look better as a country." Lipinski said he has joined the Peace Corps and will be headed to an assignment in Asia.

Some 6,000 graduates received diplomas from Penn Monday. It was the 248th commencement ceremony at the university.

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