Over the last two years, we’ve made significant strides modernizing the Navy Reserve to answer the nation’s call at a moment’s notice in response to potential strategic competitors. Being warfighting ready ensures defense of our country so our families may continue to enjoy the freedom, liberties, and way of life our forefathers envisioned when they adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.
Two-hundred and forty-six years ago, the Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia, Pa., and set the country on a trajectory toward freedom. The signers of the Declaration of Independence did so at great peril to themselves, and their courage is something we celebrate each July. At the same time, we celebrate the many brave citizens who fought for an ambitious, aspirational, radically new form of government in the American Revolution that followed. As Benjamin Franklin famously said, “We must all hang together, or assuredly, we will hang separately.”
Colonists celebrated the signing of the Declaration of Independence with bonfires, cannons and drum parades. Today, we celebrate with a long weekend, fireworks, barbeques, and maybe a day at the beach. But, the spirit of the celebrations remains the same – we are recognizing our unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We’ve all witnessed how important it is to protect these liberties, particularly as we observe an aggressive adversary’s unlawful invasion of an independent country.
Shipmates, as you enjoy the long weekend and well-deserved time off with family and friends, please exercise caution and behave responsibly. Be careful around fireworks. Consume alcohol in moderation and don’t drink and drive. Plan travel in advance, leaving yourself plenty of time to reach your destination. Have contingency and emergency plans in place. Look out for each other, especially your shipmates who may be away from their loved ones and not able to celebrate the holiday with them.
And remember our fellow Americans not able to enjoy a long weekend as they stand the watch around the world vigilantly protecting our freedom. They embody what Thomas Jefferson penned shortly after the signing of the Declaration of Independence: “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”
Kim and I thank each of you for your service to our country, as we do your families and the employers that support you. I wish you and your loved ones have a happy, safe, relaxing, and patriotic Independence Day.
Vice Admiral John B. Mustin, USN
Chief of Navy Reserve
Commander, Navy Reserve Force
Subject specific information for the media
Events or announcements of note for the media
Official Navy statements
Given by Navy leadership
HASC, SASC and Congressional testimony
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