By Lt. Gen Michael X. Garrett
U.S. Army Central
Today marks 241 years since 13 colonies joined together and declared themselves free colonies and independent states from Great Britain. Boldly asserting "...that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." Mutually pledging their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor, the Continental Congress chose the path of full independence that would require six more years of war.
Independence Day is inexorably linked to patriots such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams, and we should reflect on the obstacles and dangers they braved to found our great nation. We pay tribute to our Founders and their lofty goals of freedom and liberty which is a shining beacon to the people of the world.
As we look at the enormous accomplishments of those who came before us - and at recent generations - 241 years seems like only the blink of an eye, especially when considering the transformation of a tiny outpost on the edge of the known world to a global superpower of more than 325 million free people.
We continue to guarantee the inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to all of our citizens. Today, America's sons and daughters carry these ideas with them as they deploy and serve in harm's way in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria.
CSM Dostie and I wish everyone a safe and happy Independence Day. Thank you for your service and everything you do for our nation.
Patton's Own! Third, Always First!
U.S. ARMY RESERVE
DEPT. OF DEFENSE
U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND
DEPT. OF HOMELAND SECURITY
BEST WARRIOR COMPETITION