Chairman’s Corner: Independence Day 2011

WASHINGTON, July 1, 2011 — This Inde­pen­dence Day we cel­e­brate our Nation’s 235th birth­day. As we enjoy all the tra­di­tions and plea­sures this sin­gu­lar­ly Amer­i­can hol­i­day has to offer, I also ask that we take a moment to remem­ber those who have done so much to secure and safe­guard our inde­pen­dence through­out our his­to­ry.

Today, more than 200,000 Amer­i­cans in uni­form are deployed in harm’s way, pro­tect­ing us. Their stead­fast ser­vice reminds us that defend­ing our Nation is not a “some­times” thing, but a pur­suit that requires per­sis­tent and dis­ci­plined com­mit­ment each day, every day. I remain pro­found­ly grate­ful for the gifts of their ser­vice in far off, dis­tant places and the sac­ri­fice of the fam­i­lies who faith­ful­ly wait for their return. 

Dur­ing this decade of war, we have been remind­ed of anoth­er way we keep America’s promise to those who pro­tect it — the care and sup­port of our wound­ed war­riors, their fam­i­lies, and the fam­i­lies of our fall­en and miss­ing in action. For many, their heal­ing from wounds, both seen and unseen, will last a life­time, and so must our com­mit­ment to them. 

Pres­i­dent Franklin Delano Roo­sevelt, who shep­herd­ed our Nation through the Great Depres­sion and World War Two, once said, “In the truest sense, free­dom can­not be bestowed; it must be achieved.” Today, we hon­or every­thing that Amer­i­cans have done to earn and achieve that freedom. 

The Joint Chiefs of Staff, their fam­i­lies, and Deb­o­rah and I wish every cit­i­zen a hap­py and safe Fourth of July. Hap­py Birth­day America! 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

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