WASHINGTON, July 4, 2014 —
In his weekly address issued today, President Barack Obama saluted Independence Day, noting that generations of Americans – including service members past and present -- have worked and sacrificed to keep the nation strong.
The commander in chief had this to say to his troops: “You keep us safe, and you keep the United States of America a shining beacon of hope for the world. And for that, you and your families deserve not only the appreciation of a grateful nation, but our enduring commitment to serve you as well as you’ve served us.”
Here is the text of the president’s address:
Hi, everybody. I hope you're all having a great Fourth of July weekend.
I want to begin today by saying a special word to the U.S. Men’s Soccer Team, who represented America so well the past few weeks. We are so proud of you. You’ve got a lot of new believers. And I know there’s actually a petition on the White House website to make Tim Howard the next Secretary of Defense. Chuck Hagel’s got that spot right now, but if there is a vacancy, I’ll think about it.
It was 238 years ago that our founders came together in Philadelphia to launch our American experiment. There were farmers and businessmen, doctors and lawyers, ministers and a kite-flying scientist.
Those early patriots may have come from different backgrounds and different walks of life. But they were united by a belief in a simple truth -- that we are all created equal; that we are all endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights; and that among these rights are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Over the years, that belief has sustained us through war and depression; peace and prosperity. It’s helped us build the strongest democracy, the greatest middle class, and the most powerful military the world has ever known. And today, there isn’t a nation on Earth that wouldn’t gladly trade places with the United States of America.
But our success is only possible because we have never treated those self-evident truths as self-executing. Generations of Americans have marched, organized, petitioned, fought and even died to extend those rights to others; to widen the circle of opportunity for others; and to perfect this union we love so much.
That’s why I want to say a special thanks to the men and women of our armed forces and the families who serve with them -- especially those service members who spent this most American of holidays serving your country far from home.
You keep us safe, and you keep the United States of America a shining beacon of hope for the world. And for that, you and your families deserve not only the appreciation of a grateful nation, but our enduring commitment to serve you as well as you’ve served us.
God bless you all. And have a great weekend.