R 291200Z JUN 22
MSGIG/GENADMIN/CMC WASHINGTON DC DMCS//
GENTEXT/REMARKS/1. On 4 July 1776, the Second Continental Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence. Fifty-six courageous colonists signed their names to that important document in what became one of the most defining moments in solidifying our Nation’s sense of who we are. This year, we celebrate 246 years since the signing of that Declaration. Though our national history is far from perfect, those early days of the fight for independence provided us with a strong foundation that calls for the extending of freedom to all people equally.
2. In his 1951 speech before the English-Speaking Union Dinner in London, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, then Supreme Allied Commander Europe, made his famous statement: “Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed – else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die.” Eisenhower delivered those remarks the day before Independence Day, on the heels of the second World War and in the midst of the Korean Conflict. He, along with that entire generation, knew all too well what it takes to preserve the principles of liberty, equality, and justice laid out in the Declaration of Independence. For nearly a quarter of a millennium, Americans have enjoyed a unique level of freedom. As Marines, we know maintaining that freedom comes at a price. Whether serving in uniform or not, President Eisenhower’s statement reminds us that it is incumbent upon all Americans to protect those freedoms and ideals in whatever way we can – so that together we can ensure our great experiment continues to succeed.
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. 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.//