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Independence Day Message

As Written by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Washington, D.C., Friday, July 04, 2014

As we celebrate Independence Day, I want to express my gratitude to the men and women and their families who serve our nation at home and abroad.  Thank you for all you do to help keep America safe.

When the Declaration of Independence was signed 238 years ago, 56 patriots pledged their lives and their sacred honor to defend our inviolable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  They left a legacy that lives on today through generations of Americans who have made that same pledge to boldly stand up against tyranny, oppression, and persecution.  Their devotion to duty is just as strong, as is their willingness to risk their lives for each other and our country.

Those who serve in our armed forces, and their families, have given so much to defend the ideals and free institutions we often take for granted.  Their dedication reminds us that preserving America’s liberties comes with a heavy cost.  Today, as we celebrate our nation’s birth, let us honor their service and strive to be worthy of their tremendous sacrifices.

God bless you, our great nation, and all who endeavor to defend it.  Happy Fourth of July!

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