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2006 Independence Day Message From the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

National Guard Bureau

WASHINGTON, June 30, 2006 – Today marks our 230th year as a Nation. Our founders envisioned this great Nation as a democracy, a concept that has come to define America. To echo the words of President Ronald Reagan, "Independence Day is more than just the birthday of a Nation. It serves as the commemoration of a revolution that changed the very concept of government."

The citizens of the United States can be proud of our rich heritage. Throughout our history, America has undergone many struggles to preserve our way of life. We have gone to battle to fight for freedom wherever and whenever necessary. Today is no different. We are fully engaged in a fight against terror. To America's Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, and especially your families, thank you for meeting the challenges of the War on Terrorism and for protecting the principles that guide our great Nation.

The Joint Chiefs and I wish you and your families a safe and happy Independence Day. We honor your tremendous sacrifice to our country, and we are extremely proud of your contribution to keeping our country safe.

With respect,

PETER PACE

General, United States Marine Corps

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

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