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EMBARGOED UNTIL 6:00 AM ET, THURSDAY, July 4, 2013 

MESSAGE FROM THE WHITE HOUSE: Colonel Ricardo Morales, Director of Joining Forces initiative for the White House, spoke about the Fourth of July and remembering our troops 

In this week’s message, Colonel Ricardo Morales, Director of Joining Forces celebrates the Fourth of July and the importance of remembering the meaning of the date. Joining Forces is an initiative of the First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden  dedicated to connecting our servicemen and women, veterans and military spouses with the resources they have earned.

The audio of the address and video of the message is available online HERE

Remarks by Colonel Ricardo Morales

Message from the White House

July 4, 2013

Hello, everyone and Happy Fourth of July. My name is Ricardo Morales and I am the new Director of Joining Forces, an initiative of First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, dedicated to supporting our members of the military service, veterans and military families with the resources they earned.

July 4th is a moment to celebrate with our families and friends, but we also should remember the story of this date when a small band of patriots declared that we were a people created equal – free to think and live as we please. And now, 237 years later, the United States is one of the greatest nations in the world.

On this day, we think of all the men and women who have served, including our troops around the world who are still in harm’s way and their families back home – for they serve too.

Hispanics have served in every war since the founding of our country. Today, nearly 11 percent of soldiers serving are of Hispanic origin—that is over a million Hispanics serving in our armed forces. And, according to the U.S. Census there are more than one million Hispanic veterans that have bravely served our nation.

The Administration is committed to the care of all of its service members, veterans, and their families, and is making important strides in delivering vital services in a culturally sensitive way.

Generations made our country what it is today – farmers and teachers, engineers and soldiers, entrepreneurs and elected leaders – people from all walks of life, all united in the same interest.  We also celebrate on July 4 the incoming new Americans, as the United States welcomed more than 7,800 new citizens during Independence Day celebrations.

Today is a day to be proud of the country we’ve built together.  Despite all our differences, we are one nation, indivisible.  And 237 years after we began, we’re still working every day to continue to guarantee liberty and justice for all. 

I wish you all a very happy Fourth of July.  God bless you and your families.

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