Celebrating Independence, Honoring Those Who Defend It

On Saturday night President Obama and the First Family celebrated the 4th of July with military men, women, and their families at the White House. Following the President's remarks, people gathered at picnic tables and on blankets on the South Lawn for a special USO concert to honor our troops, featuring Jimmy Fallon, Michelle Branch and the Foo Fighters. The evening's festivities closed with fireworks over the National Mall.
South Lawn on 4th
(The view of the South Lawn of the White House as the Foo Fighters performed on July 4, 2009. Official White House photo by Pete Souza)
 
President and First Lady watch fireworks
(President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama watch the fireworks over the National Mall from the White House on July 4, 2009. Official White House photo by Pete Souza)
 
President and First Lady greet military families
(President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet military families at the White House on July 4, 2009. Official White House photo by Pete Souza)

 
(President Barack Obama kisses a baby while greeting military families at the White House on July 4, 2009. Official White House photo by Pete Souza) 


(The South Lawn of the White House as military families enjoyed the holiday on July 4, 2009. Official White House photo by Pete Souza)
 

In speaking to some of our troops and their families, the President recounted the generations of young men and women who have sacrificed to allow our country to become what it is, including those serving now, and closed with a solemn promise:

But I want to say this to all of you:  You have done everything that has been asked of you.  The United States of America is proud of you.  I'm proud to be your Commander-in-Chief.  And that's why, this Fourth of July, I renew my pledge to each and every one of you -- that for as long as I have that immeasurable honor, you will always have the equipment and support you need to get the job done.  Your families will always be a priority of Michelle's and mine, and remain on our hearts and on our minds.  And when our service members do return home, it will be to an America that always welcomes them home with the care that they were promised.
 
It is, after all, your service -- the service of generations of soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen -- that makes our annual celebration of this day possible.  It's your service that proves that our founding ideals remain just as powerful and alive in our third century as a nation as they did on that first Fourth of July.  And it is your service that guarantees that the United States of America shall forever remain the last, best hope on Earth.
 
Related Topics: Veterans
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