WASHINGTON, July 2, 2010 — This Independence Day we celebrate our Nation’s 234th birthday. As this holiday weekend approaches and we enjoy parades, picnics and fireworks, I hope we also take a moment to remember the generations of Americans who have safeguarded our independence.
Today, there are more than 200,000 uniformed American men and women deployed in harm’s way, protecting us. Their steady lives of dedication remind us that our Nation’s promise must be tended to everyday. I won’t forget the gifts of their service far away from home or the sacrifices of the families who wait for their return.
Another way we tend to America’s promise is through our care and acknowledgement of our wounded warriors, their families, and the families of our fallen and our missing in action. For many, their healing will last a lifetime, and our commitment to them should be equally enduring.
President Dwight Eisenhower once observed that freedom resides in “the hearts, the actions and the spirit” of our people. Today, especially, we celebrate everything that Americans do – in both action and in spirit – to render that freedom inviolate.
The Joint Chiefs, their families, Deborah and I wish every citizen a happy and safe Independence Day. Happy Birthday America!
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)