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Celebrate the Fourth with pride

(U.S. Air Force photo illustration/Naoko Shimoji)

(U.S. Air Force photo illustration/Naoko Shimoji)

Commander in chief

Commander in chief

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- Team Kadena,

As we celebrate the 236th anniversary of America's independence, let us reflect on the hard-fought freedoms we enjoy as Americans and also appreciate those who sacrificed mightily to ensure these freedoms.

Independence Day is not only a time of entertaining family and friends, eating delicious BBQ, or watching awesome fireworks; it's also a time to reflect upon our nation's birth and take inventory of the blessings we enjoy in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

Great American patriots like George Washington, General of the Continental Army and our first President, led thousands of men into the Revolutionary War to fight for freedom, human rights and the right to a democratic republic. More than 25,000 troops died either from battle or disease--paying it forward for our independence.

John Adams, a member of the Continental Congress and signer of the Declaration of Independence, stated that July 4th, "ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shews, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time and forward forever more." So in keeping with this charge, Americans have, since July 4th, 1776, proudly celebrated the birth of their country and her independence in spectacular fashion.

Since then, our nation has lost great numbers of brave men and women fighting for freedom and for the security of our nation. At this moment, the 18th Wing has more than 500 Airmen deployed around the globe--some engaged in combat, and all sacrificing time away from their families while aiding other nations in their fight for freedom and the rule of law. Let's remember to keep them all in our thoughts and prayers; they are the ones who have made this day possible.

As you enjoy this Fourth of July with your families, I would also ask that you keep some common sense and safety in mind (especially while celebrating in "games, sports, (NO!) guns, bells, bonfires (not!) and illuminations"). Take a friend with you if you go into the water and make responsible decisions if you choose to drink. Oh yes, if you've seen this Fourth's forecast, don't forget the sunscreen!!

From the entire Molloy family, thank you for all you do for our nation and our allies in ensuring regional security and stability. YOU are the frontline guarantors of peace through strength. Happy Fourth of July!