Good morning. Every Fourth of July we take special pride in the first generation
of Americans, the men and women who waged a desperate fight to overcome tyranny
and live in freedom. Centuries later, it is hard to imagine the Revolutionary
War coming out any other way. Yet victory was far from certain, and came at
Six years passed from the fighting at Concord Bridge to the victory at Yorktown,
six years of struggle and hardship for American patriots. By their courage
and perseverance, the colonies became a country. That land of 13 states and
fewer than four million people grew and prospered. And today, all who live
in tyranny, and all who yearn for freedom, place their hopes in the United
States of America.
For more than two centuries, Americans have been called to serve and sacrifice
for the ideals of our founding. And the men and women of our military have
never failed us. They have left many monuments along the way, an undivided
union, a liberated Europe, the rise of democracy in Asia, and the fall of
an evil empire. Millions across the world are free today because of the unselfish
courage of America's veterans.
The current generation of our military is meeting the threats of a new era,
and fighting new battles in the war on terror. People in every branch of
the service, and thousands of Guard and Reserve members called to active
duty, have carried out their missions with all the skill and honor we expect
of them. This nation is grateful to our men and women in uniform.
On this Fourth of July weekend, we also remember the brave Americans we've
lost in Afghanistan and Iraq. We honor each one for their courage and sacrifice.
We think of the families who miss them so much. And we are thankful that
this nation produces such fine men and women who are willing to defend us
At this hour, many are still serving, sacrificing, and facing danger in
distant places. Many military families are still separated. Our people in
uniform do not have easy duty, and much depends on their success. Without
America's active involvement in the world, the ambitions of tyrants would
go unopposed, and millions would live at the mercy of terrorists. With America's
active involvement in the world, tyrants have learned to fear, and terrorists
are on the run.
This nation is acting to defend our security, yet our mission in the world
is broader. The Declaration of Independence holds a promise for all mankind.
Because Americans believe that freedom is an unalienable right, we value
the freedom of every nation. Because we are committed to the God-given worth
of every life, we work for human dignity in every land. We protect our friends
and raise up former enemies to be our friends. We bring food and disaster
relief to the nations of the world in times of crisis. And in Africa, where
I will go next week, the United States of America is leading the effort to
fight AIDS, and save millions of lives with the healing power of medicine.
Just as our enemies are going to know the strong will of America, people
across this Earth are seeing the good and generous heart of America.
As citizens of this good nation, we can be proud of our heritage and confident
in our future. The ideals of July 4th, 1776, still speak to all humanity,
and the revolution declared that day goes on. As we celebrate our independence
in 2003, we still place our trust in Divine Providence. We still pledge our
lives and honor to freedom's defense. And we will always believe that freedom
is the hope and the future of every land.
May God continue to bless the United States of America. Thank you for listening.