Air Force leaders issue Independence Day message

  • Published
Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy send the following Independence Day message to the Airmen of the U.S. Air Force and their families:

In 1776, our nation's founders immortalized their vision of a free nation by signing the Declaration of Independence. With an abiding belief in certain unalienable rights -- to life, to liberty and to the pursuit of happiness -- they sought to create a federal republic that was separate from Great Britain and founded on a unique blend of traditions and values.

Today, we, as citizens and Airmen, hold these truths just as closely, demonstrating our conviction through our service to America. As we recognize and celebrate the anniversary of the birth of our nation, let us give thanks for the vision of our Founding Fathers and for those who have pledged to serve our country. We should reflect particularly on the debt that we owe to those Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen, and Coast Guardsmen who made the ultimate sacrifice in fighting for and helping to preserve our freedoms; and, we should express our gratitude to their families who will always bear that most difficult burden.

Today, more than 41,000 Airmen are deployed, and more than 57,000 are forward-stationed beyond our shores. In addition, some 134,000 Airmen directly support combatant commander requirements from their home stations. We join a grateful nation in thanking you for your service and sacrifice.

The Fourth of July is a day to recommit ourselves to doing all that we can to ensure that our children, our grandchildren and all the generations that follow will enjoy the freedoms that are our birthright as Americans. We salute you, our flag, and the United States of America; and once again, we bid all of you, and our nation, a very happy Independence Day.