Independence Day

Two hundred forty one years ago a group of patriots gathered in Philadelphia and signed the Declaration of Independence, publicly and boldly declaring that our colonies would be free and independent states. The decision to declare independence changed the course of history and set forth the greatest experiment in democratic government the world has ever experienced. The founders envisioned a new future with a hopeful vision of liberty and equality for themselves and future generations.

On July 4, we will commemorate that historic gathering and celebrate our Independence Day.  John Adams, a founder and former president, said that Independence Day “ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, bells, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”  Of all our national holidays, this is truly one for unified gatherings and heartfelt celebrations.

Every generation is called to greatness in purpose and meaning. The founders gave us a framework upon which successive generations have advanced the cause of freedom.  We too, are called upon to make real and meaningful contributions to society and our democratic institutions.

And while we celebrate, it is worth reflecting on what it means to be an American, to express gratitude for our many blessings, and to further the ideals of freedom and opportunity that our nation holds so dear. And let us remember the many courageous and principled men and women who have served and sacrificed throughout our nation’s history to preserve and protect our liberties.

Take advantage of the opportunity to travel and gather with friends and family over the holiday, but continue to remain vigilant as you enjoy the summer season. Focus on the basics: have a plan, begin all travel well-rested, anticipate delays, and remain alert.  Return safe and refreshed.  In everything you do, remember we are a team, and teammates take care of each other.

On behalf of our Military Sealift Command Staff, I wish you and your families a very happy Independence Day.

United We Sail,

Rear Adm. Dee L. Mewbourne, USN

Commander, Military Sealift Command

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