Written by Commandant of the Coast Guard Adm. Bob Papp.
Our nation is more secure today because you stand the watch. Whether serving aboard a cutter, aircraft or boat, deployed on an operation, or performing mission support, what unites us is our sense of purpose and our devotion to duty. I am humbled by, and deeply appreciative of, the dedication of our Coast Guardsmen and families both at home and abroad. It is by standing the watch that we give our nation the most precious gift of all: Freedom.
Maintaining the freedom we all enjoy sometimes requires great sacrifice. Our founders understood this when they declared our new nation free and independent and concluded our Declaration of Independence with the words “we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” This week, in particular, we reflect upon the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, the turning point in the American Civil War, where so many gave that last full measure of devotion to free all Americans.
Many of our own have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. Their tireless and selfless service makes our celebration of the Fourth of July possible and even more meaningful. We honor the memories of our Coast Guard men and women and all service members who have given their lives. Their precious gift deepens our own commitment to protect our nation, defend our freedoms, and rescue those in distress.
I am immensely proud of our nation and our Coast Guard. As we gather with our families and friends to celebrate this Fourth of July, let us remember all of those who have served and be thankful for all those who stand the watch today.
Happy Independence Day. Stand a taut watch. Semper Paratus.
Admiral Bob Papp, Commandant