Friday, July 4, 2008

Leaders Offer Praise for Military Members on Nation’s Birthday

The commander-in-chief and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff both issued messages to service members, their families and the American people ahead of the Fourth of July holiday weekend. President Bush and Adm. Mike Mullen noted the valuable service provided by men and women in uniform now and throughout our history. “On this occasion, we pay special tribute to the men and women of our armed forces,” Bush said, “who have answered freedom’s call and defended the values that make America the greatest country on earth.”

He cited the courageous visionaries of two centuries ago for signing the Declaration of Independence. “Guided by ancient and eternal truths, our forefathers proclaimed to the world that liberty was the natural right of all mankind and in doing so began one of the greatest chapters in human history,” the president said. “On the Fourth of July, our country commemorates the great achievements of these heroes and reaffirms its unwavering confidence in the power of freedom.”

Mullen said examples are rare in U.S. history when the nation’s birthday has come at such a critical and dangerous time. “Al-Qaida has been beaten back in Iraq, but it is not defeated,” he said. “The Taliban still claws for power in Afghanistan. Extremists of all kinds all over the world still plot against us, our fellow citizens and our allies and friends. And yet you still serve,” he continued. “Still you sacrifice. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing,” he said, “thank you for your service and that of your families at this critical time. Thank you for the gift of freedom.”

Amen.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can.

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