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Past, present military efforts contribute to America’s independence

  • Published
  • By Gen. Bruce Carlson
  • Commander, Air Force Materiel Command
The freedoms we in Air Force Materiel Command enjoy today will allow many of us to watch fireworks with friends and loved ones on July 4th as we celebrate our nation's 231st birthday.

Historians tell us the men who signed the Declaration of Independence did not foresee the document's elevation to the importance given to it by future generations. The Continental Congress actually had more pressing business. But the nation's founders knew their signatures would be their death sentences if the American Revolution failed.

Since 1776, thousands of Americans have also put their lives on the line in service to our democratic way of life and individual freedom. The enemy then was an imperial monarchy. Today it's a perverse religious fundamentalism that justifies murder in service to its goals. The fight for government by "the consent of the governed," as Thomas Jefferson once said, is ongoing.

AFMC is part of that ongoing fight, which today is against terrorists who threaten the freedoms of Americans. The ideals of our predecessors sustain us when we in AFMC provide our nation's warfighters with the resources they need to win against terrorism. In doing so, AFMC is supporting democracy.

So enjoy July 4th festivities as you celebrate this special time for remembrance and patriotism. Be safe ... and be proud that, thanks in part to you, America remains, as President Lincoln once said, a "government of the people, by the people and for the people."