TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --
Two-hundred and forty-one years ago on this 4th of July, our Founding Fathers officially declared independence from Great Britain, proclaiming that all of us are created equal, endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights including the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The Declaration included a list of grievances of actions carried out by Great Britain that suppressed these rights they believed inherent to our existence. With their resolve at signing the Declaration of Independence, colonies became states, colonists became Americans and all were acknowledged as free. While the Declaration of Independence always retains special meaning for Americans, its legacy extends even beyond our country with its universal principles of democracy and freedom. It has been a constant beacon for all who yearn for the natural blessings of liberty.
Freedom is certainly worth celebrating. In Washington D.C. the day is marked with readings of the Declaration of Independence, a National Parade, fireworks, and a concert at the Capitol Mall along with other local traditions and activities. For many of us, it will mean family, friends, and fireworks, with hot dogs, hamburgers, and apple pie.
Approaching another Independence Day presents a time to reflect not only upon the freedoms we share as Americans, but also on the debt we owe every Airman, Marine, Coast Guardsman, Soldier, and Sailor in our history who has won and preserved our freedoms. Their efforts and perseverance have resulted in the diverse, robust nation we are today, and we have enjoyed our freedoms for many generations. While we have inherited these freedoms from previous generations, it is the responsibility of every American to remain vigilant in maintaining our hard-won freedoms for following generations to enjoy and be born into.
Thank you to all our Airmen and their families for what you do every day to defend our country and our freedoms. Rhonda and I wish for you and yours a safe and Happy Independence!