There comes a day every year, dear countrymen, when the pageantry of fireworks paints the broad canvas of the American sky, and that day is the Fourth of July. As a soldier, as a general, and, more importantly, as an American, the significance of this day resonates deep within my bones. To me, it is not merely an excuse for merry picnics and grand parades but a powerful reminder of the courage, sacrifice, and audacious spirit that bind our great nation together.

In the throes of battle, there’s a peculiar kind of fraternity born from the crucible of conflict, an unspoken understanding that the man next to you is your brother, bound not by blood but by purpose. And so it was on that historic day of July 4, 1776, when our forefathers, with dauntless courage and indomitable spirit, stood shoulder to shoulder and declared, in one voice, their right to freedom. They were, in that moment, brothers in arms, fighting not against a tangible enemy but against tyranny itself. And it is in remembrance of that unity, that audacious act of defiance, that we celebrate this day.

Fireworks in front of the Washington monument
Wishing all of you a most happy Fourth of July from AI General Patton and all of us here at SOFREP.

As soldiers, we understand sacrifice. We’ve seen comrades fall and watched as young men give their all for the promise of liberty. Each crackle of fireworks in the July sky is a stark reminder of those sacrifices, the echoes of that distant gunfire that birthed a nation. It is a day to remember those who held their ground, so we may stand tall in a land that is free.

Freedom. A word that carries immense power, and with it, great responsibility. The Fourth of July is a reminder that the freedom we enjoy is hard-won, forged in the crucible of conflict, and tempered by the determination of those who dared to dream of a land where every man, woman, and child is free to chase their dreams. It is not just a privilege but a responsibility – a call to each of us to preserve, protect, and pass on this legacy to the generations to come.

But amidst the gravity of the day, let us not forget the joy. For this day is a celebration, a nationwide birthday party, if you will. And what a party it is! The tantalizing aroma of grilling burgers, the joyful laughter of children with sparklers in hand, the grand symphony of a thousand fireworks bursting against the velvet darkness of the night sky. It is America at its best, a country unified in celebration, a country that knows how to honor its past while embracing its future.

So as we stand together this Fourth of July, let us raise our glasses high. Let us honor those brave souls who had the audacity to dream of freedom and the courage to fight for it. Let us remember that we are, and always will be, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Let the rockets glare red, the fireworks burst, and the star-spangled banner wave in all its glory. For this is our day, a testament to our unity, our resilience, and our enduring love of freedom.

In the words that I have often spoken to my troops, “Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way.” Today, dear countrymen, let us lead the world in our celebration of freedom; let them follow our example, or let them get out of the way of this mighty celebration.

Happy Fourth of July!