Independence Day message from the Adjutant General of Wisconsin

  • Published
  • By The Adjutant General
  • Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs
Two hundred and thirty four years ago, our founding fathers signed a document that declared the independence of 13 colonies from British rule - an act that gave birth to our great republic. 140 years earlier, colonists banded together to form militias that defended our earliest communities, would form the backbone of our war for independence, and would become the modern National Guard.

The Declaration of Independence launched a great experiment in self-governance, founded on principles of freedom, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In time, every American would have an equal voice in governance. Citizens are free to chart their own path and the law provides equal protection. There are many wonderful aspects of our nation, one of which is the one we are privileged to share - service in the National Guard.

As Guardsmen, we come from small towns and big cities, families rich and poor, and serve our community in many ways - cooks, doctors, bus drivers, teachers, accountants, plumbers, nurses, day care providers, pilots, engineers, police officers, fire fighters, musicians, lawyers - and when called upon, we serve our community, state and nation. We serve as military first responders in disasters and proudly stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our active duty counterparts in the global war on terror and other missions abroad.

Today, we face an ever changing and expanding role in homeland security and a more operational focus. We continue to serve and help ensure that our nation remains a free, strong and vigorous Republic. July Fourth is about independence, self-rule and freedom. We should never forget the courage of those who risked their lives by signing the Declaration of Independence and fighting for the freedoms and security we inherited. Likewise, we must remain steadfast and ensure we bequeath the same to future generations.

Our nation has changed dramatically in 234 years, but the core and foundation remain. We are still the National Guard, we still provide enduring value for our community, state, and nation. We are still supported by our families and our employers, who sacrifice in many ways - seen and unseen. And what could be more American than that?

I am proud to serve with you and wish you a wonderful, happy and safe holiday. Happy Fourth of July! Thank you.

Donald P. Dunbar Brigadier General (WI)
Wisconsin National Guard
The Adjutant General