Gathered in the sweltering heat of Philadelphia in July 1776, the signers of the Declaration of Independence risked treason to proclaim the rights of "the People" to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. For eight years, Soldiers and Patriot Civilians fought and gave their lives to earn the freedom we cherish today. Through the trials, challenges and hardships of the past 237 years, our Nation has prevailed and America has stood for freedom.

But freedom has a price. Past and present, our Citizen Soldiers have stood in the forefront in defense of our freedom at home and abroad. Their dedication and selfless service characterize every member of the Army Family who has volunteered to guard and protect our freedom and the American way of life.

As we observe Independence Day 2012, we ask that you pause for a moment to remember the prior generations of dedicated Soldiers who risked their lives to protect what we hold so dear. Their extraordinary service inspires us all to be better Soldiers and Patriots, as we continually strive to live up to their remarkable legacy of bravery, loyalty and sacrifice.

//Original Signed//
Raymond F. Chandler III
Sergeant Major of the Army

//Original Signed//
Raymond T. Odierno
General, United States Army Chief of Staff

//Original Signed//
John M. McHugh
Secretary of the Army

Page last updated Tue July 3rd, 2012 at 09:00