Celebrate the sacrifices

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Jeff Loftin
  • 18th Wing Public Affairs
This week we celebrated the birth of our country and the sacrifices of those who secured the liberties we hold dear today. 

Let us not forget that our nation was forged by noble ideas, as well as violent battles. Two hundred thirty-one years ago, members of the Continental Congress met on a sweltering July day in Philadelphia and made a courageous decision that changed the course of history ... they adopted the Declaration of Independence. 

Thomas Jefferson wrote the words that formed the soul of this great nation - declaring that all men are "endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and pursuit of happiness." 

Founded on these principles, America has lived in freedom for more than two centuries and now stands as the flagship of democracy for the entire world. Other nations look to us as a beacon of hope and welcome the chance to taste the same freedom and liberty that we cherish so dearly. 

But that freedom has not come without sacrifice. Many before us have paid with their lives so we could enjoy those liberties. Many of the Kadena family are among those who championed democracy. 

Now is the time to salute those brave patriots. This holiday is not just about barbecues, flags or fireworks; it's also about remembering those who gave of themselves so we can live in a free society. It's about recommitting ourselves to the values of our country's forefathers and the spirit of our great nation. 

Each generation has a responsibility to remember and to carry the torch of freedom to the next generation. Today, members of Team Kadena are working together for the cause of freedom, both at home stations and on deployments across the globe. Your nation owes you its gratitude and unwavering support. Freedom does come with a price, and it is evident by your actions that you have paid that price in defending our nation's liberty and independence. 

Former President Ronald Reagan said it this way, "It is up to us...to work together for progress and humanity so that our grandchildren, when they look back at us, can truly say that we not only preserved the flame of freedom, but cast its warmth and light further than those who came before us." 

So on this most American of holidays, let us not only celebrate the liberty we enjoy as Americans, let us also celebrate those who defend them. May we always remember the heroes who have gone before and the heroes who still stand watch today. I thank you and your families for your outstanding service in defense of America's freedom.
God bless our great nation!