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Independence Day Message from the President to Members of the Armed Forces

National Guard Bureau

WASHINGTON, June 30, 2000 –

On the Fourth of July in 1776, many of the greatest heroes of our early history risked their lives to put their names at the bottom of the Declaration of Independence. Yet, George Washington's name is not among them; he was not in Philadelphia. Instead, he was in New York with the Continental Army, preparing his troops to defend the new nation against the largest expeditionary force ever launched by the British Empire.

George Washington knew the survival of our country depended on our ability to defend it. More than two centuries later, America continues to rely on the bravery of the men and women of the United States Armed Forces.

This Fourth of July, our men and women in uniform stand guard on the frontiers of freedom, ready to mobilize in a minute to defend the interests and ideals of America.

So today, as we commemorate the start of the world's most successful experiment in self-government, we must recognize our success is inseparable from the bravery and service of those in uniform.

As Commander-in-Chief, I honor your courage, your service and your sacrifice. And I thank you for safeguarding what we celebrate this Fourth of July. May God bless America. And may God bless the men and women who defend our freedom.

Bill Clinton

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