R 012023Z JUL 21
MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC WASHINGTON DC DMCS(UC)//
GENTEXT/REMARKS/1. This year marks 245 years since 56 courageous patriots signed their names to the Declaration of Independence. Since then, our Nation has celebrated each 4th of July, the date the Second Continental Congress agreed to that Declaration, with such events as parades, social gatherings, cook-outs, and fireworks. But that first July 4th and the months that followed were not a time of leisure and celebration. It was a time of tenacious resolve – a time when the Declaration signers put their own lives on the line to birth a Nation established on the principles of liberty, equality, and justice for all people.
2. In his Independence Day speech of 1926, 30th President Calvin Coolidge stated, “We live in an age of science and of abounding accumulation of material things. These did not create our Declaration. Our Declaration created them.” For nearly a quarter of a millennium, America has enjoyed the great abundance of freedom. Though every nation stumbles from time to time, our founders gave us a strong foundation for extending that freedom to all people equally. When it comes to liberty, however, eloquent words and patriotic celebrations are meaningless without action. Whether that means treating all people with equal respect on an individual level or putting on a uniform and continuing the fight to defend our freedoms, we all have a responsibility to preserve the ideals of our Nation’s founding.
3. Independence Day offers us a time to reflect on what it means to serve and what role we can play in ensuring the vision for liberty and equality issued on 4 July 1776 continues to guide our Nation. As Marines, we take great pride in our heritage as our Nation’s expeditionary force-in-readiness, and we remain vigilant and ready to defend our freedoms when the Nation calls.
4. This past year has been an undeniably challenging one, and I hope this holiday will offer each of you an opportunity to gather safely with family and friends. Continue to be on guard to the health hazards we face and follow established guidelines throughout this holiday period. Above all, look out for each other and make sure everyone returns safe and ready to work.
5. To all Marines, Sailors, and families, I wish you a happy 4th of July.
6. Semper Fidelis, David H. Berger, General, U.S. Marine Corps, Commandant of the Marine Corps.//