On July 4th, 1776, delegates from 13 Colonies formally adopted the Declaration of Independence, establishing a republic founded on the concept of unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for its citizens. Today, the U.S. Coast Guard promotes and projects these ideals worldwide – from our shores and inland waterways, to the Caribbean, the Poles, Middle-East, Oceania, and the Indo-Pacific – preserving a safe, just, and cohesive maritime common.
Amid a challenging year, we are reminded of the resilience, compassion, and tenacity that has been engrained in the Nation for 245 years. I encourage you to reflect on this, and remember that these qualities are only cultivated through an involved and engaged citizenry. I also ask you to reflect on the important role of the 90,000 active, reserve, civilian, and Auxiliary Coast Guard women and men, and how we tirelessly work to ensure all our citizens are able to truly realize their unalienable rights as articulated in our Declaration of Independence.
If you are able to observe this Independence Day with loved ones, consider the generations of public servants who have preceded us. If you are at sea, standing the watch, or deployed abroad, your entire leadership team thanks you, and reminds you of our Nation's gratitude for your service. Semper Paratus.