Florida Guard Team,
This weekend, we celebrate the courage and foresight of our forefathers, who on July 4, 1776, officially severed our ties to the British Crown by releasing the Declaration of Independence. These brave Americans pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to ensure that we would live as a free nation. Philadelphians marked the first anniversary of American independence with a spontaneous celebration, described in a letter by future President John Adams to his wife, Abigail. Since then, Independence Day has always been a time to gather with your friends and family to commemorate the birth of our country and honor what makes it great. This year, federal and state law enforcement agencies have issued warnings about an increased potential for terrorist incidents over the holiday weekend. As you celebrate, please keep safety in the forefront of your mind. If you plan to attend any public events, maintain constant situational awareness of your surroundings, and report any suspicious people or activities to law enforcement.
This Independence Day, we should all pause and think of the many citizens who have sacrificed to sustain the freedom that our forefathers declared 239 years ago. Each generation of Americans has preserved and echoed that freedom around the globe, and our current generation is no different. Our Florida Guardsmen, part of the greatest military force the world has ever known, have carried their share of the burden to sustain our nation. While we face numerous challenges, I ask you to reflect this weekend upon the greatness of our nation, and the sacrifices made by so many so that our children and grandchildren may enjoy freedom and liberty. More than ever, I thank you for service and perseverance to safeguard our citizens and our country. May God Bless you, your families and the United States of America.
MICHAEL A. CALHOUN
Florida National Guard
The Adjutant General