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Back in 1776, John Adams wrote his wife Abigail that the anniversary of our independence should be observed with great fanfare: “. . . with pomp and parades . . . shows and games . . . and sports and guns and bells . . . with bonfires and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, and from this time forevermore.”

Well, Mr. Adams, rest assured that what you wanted is being done. Your traditions are now ours, and we guard them like national treasures. And you know why. When we unfurl our flags, strike up the bands, and light up the skies each July 4th, we celebrate the most exciting, ongoing adventure in human freedom the world has ever known.

As you celebrate Independence Day with your family and friends, remember, the United States flag does not fly because the wind moves past it. Our flag flies from the last breath of each military member who has died protecting it. Our soldiers don’t fight because they hate what’s in front of them – they fight because they love what’s behind them. God Bless America.

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