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Fourth of July Message

National Guard Bureau

WASHINGTON, July 2, 2004 – This Independence Day we celebrate our Nation's 228th birthday and honor the legacy of our founding fathers. Pioneers like Presidents Washington and Jefferson set a young nation on a course for democracy guided by the values of liberty and justice that have shaped our national character. As we pay tribute to the past, we must also look to the future and face the challenges of the 21st century.

Today, as throughout our history, the proud members of our Armed Forces are meeting these challenges head on, engaged around the world keeping the peace and demonstrating our firm resolve. Through your unwavering service and commitment, you have secured America's shores and given hope to millions that liberty and justice can be theirs too.

The freedoms that we cherish come with a cost. Whether an honored veteran, new recruit or civilian, your vigilance, courage and sacrifice provide us the opportunity to live in a free society. You have served notice to terrorists and those who threaten the vision of our Nation's founders that we will achieve victory. We are proud of your commitment, dedication and accomplishments.

Across America as family and friends gather to celebrate the liberties we all enjoy, remember those, some far from home, who make this patriotic holiday possible. This is our opportunity to focus on our families and appreciate their sacrifices and contributions to the freedoms we hold so dear. The Joint Chiefs of Staff and I thank you and your families for your selfless, dedicated service and for ensuring the continued security of our Nation.

May God bless you and God bless America.

Gen. Richard B. Myers, USAF

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