WASHINGTON, July 2, 2010 - In his Independence Day message, President Barack Obama praised American troops, and acknowledged the heroism of those who have fallen in the line of duty and their families. The full text of the message follows:
Today we celebrate the 234th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the beginning of a great experiment, American democracy.
In every corner of our country, we recall the valor and vision of patriots from Thirteen Colonies who declared independence from a powerful empire and gave birth to a new Nation.
We gather in town centers and wave flags in parades not only to recall this history we share, but also to honor the vibrant and enduring spirit of America established on this day.
For those gallant first Americans, such a Nation as ours may have seemed like an unattainable dream. Their concept was revolutionary: a government of, by, and for the people. Yet, our Founders' tenacity, resolve, and courage in the face of seemingly impossible odds became the bedrock of our country.
That essence has permeated our land and inspired generations of Americans to explore, discover, and redefine the outer reaches of our infinite potential. It has become the foundation of the American dream.
This dream has not come without tremendous cost. From the farmers and tradesmen who served in militias during our American Revolution to the present day women and men protecting our Nation around the world, the sacrifices of our Armed Forces have been extraordinary.
Today we pay tribute to our servicemembers, many of whom have paid the ultimate sacrifice. We also acknowledge the contributions and sacrifices of their loving families. It is their heroism that has paved the remarkable path of freedom's march.
Just as this day serves as a reminder of the immeasurable bravery of those who have made America what it is today, it also renews in us the solemn duty we share to ensure our Nation lives up to its promise.
We must not simply commemorate the work begun over two and a quarter centuries ago; we are called to join together, hoist their mantle upon our shoulders, and carry that spirit of service into tomorrow.
America again faces a daunting set of challenges, yet our history shows these are not insurmountable. We need only to draw upon the perseverance of those before us -- our Founders who declared and fought for their ideals; our ancestors who emigrated here and struggled to build a better future for their children; and our pioneers and entrepreneurs who blazed trails that have continually expanded our horizons. Their spirit -- our spirit -- will guide our Nation now and in our bright future.
On our Nation's birthday, may we come together in the enduring spirit of America to begin that work anew. I wish you all the best for a happy Fourth of July. May God Bless all those who serve, and may God Bless the United States of America.