This weekend, Americans around the world will gather together to commemorate the 241st anniversary of our Nation – July 4, 2017. Whether farmer or teacher, entrepreneur or Soldier, our Independence Day is truly a great American day of celebration. We honor the small group of patriots who bravely declared that ours was a land of liberty, equality, and opportunity as enshrined in the Constitution of the United States.
In support and defense of our Constitution, our military swear an oath, not to a supreme leader or a piece of land like so many others around the world, but to an idea; an idea that we are all created equal and will be treated under the law equally. There are about 189 countries in the world today and the only one I am aware of whose military takes an oath of allegiance not to an individual, a king or queen or to a state. We take an oath of allegiance to the Constitution and we are saying we are willing to die to support and defend it. That is an idea so powerful, yet so simple, that it has brought down tyrannies and built countries like our own.
Independence Day often includes firework displays and parades, but we must also recognize the roughly 184,000 Soldiers who will celebrate this day while deployed. While we participate in local events, I encourage all to do so with an eye on safety. As I said before, risk management, discipline, and care for each other are essential to your safe return; safety impacts our readiness, and any loss is one too many.
Lucas and I want to thank all of the Team APG Soldiers, Civilians and Families for your service, bravery, and patriotism. We wish you a safe and enjoyable Independence Day weekend. Army Strong!
Maj. Gen. Randy Taylor, APG senior commander