This week, we’ll mark the 238th year of our Nation’s independence. As you hang bunting and flags, fire up the grill, and enjoy the time off, I ask that you remember that our independence and the freedoms we enjoy today came at a price of blood and treasure. There are many — military and civilian — who came before us to fight for our independence and defend it during the past two centuries. So, on this Independence Day, I’d ask that you remember those who have gone before but I’d also ask you to reflect on our freedoms and our country has earned and maintained them. As recent world events show us, freedoms like ours are neither permanent nor guaranteed but they are always precious.
Also, I’d ask you to remember that this holiday weekend there will be dedicated service members and civilians working hard and standing watch in defense of our country and all it stands for. Keep them in your thoughts and prayers and, if you have the opportunity, thank them.
Lastly, holidays bring risk. Whether you’re on the road, in the swimming pool, at the beach, hiking in the mountains, or just relaxing at home, please put “safety first.” Be thoughtful around the grill, designate a driver if you plan to drink, lather on the sunscreen, and stay safe out there.
I am very proud of each and every one of you for the great work you do in support of the Fleet, Fighter and Family. Each of you make a difference every day as part of our global shore enterprise team. I am continually impressed by your professionalism and dedication.
I wish you and your family a safe and relaxing holiday. Happy Independence Day!
All the best,
VADM Bill French