Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta, President Barack Obama, Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Commander in Chief Thanks Sailors on Navy Birthday
From The White House
WASHINGTON - I send greetings to all those celebrating the 237th birthday of the United States Navy.

America's growth from a string of 13 colonies to a beacon of freedom and democracy would not have been possible without the generations of patriots who stepped forward to defend our Nation and the principles for which we stand. The members of the United States Navy are part of this unbroken chain of heroism, protecting and preserving our way of life since the earliest days of our Union.

Our Sailors have performed brilliantly in every mission given to them - from Coral Sea to Midway to Guadalcanal; from Iwo Jima to Inchon; from the Mekong Delta and Desert Storm to Baghdad and Kabul. They continue to answer our Nation's call as a global force for good, safeguarding vast oceans, bringing justice to terrorists around the world, and providing assistance during times of humanitarian crisis. At sea, on land, and in the air, our brave men and women of the United States Navy, like all who wear the uniform of our country, represent what is best about America. We are forever indebted to these selfless heroes.

As President, I have no higher honor than serving as Commander in Chief, and on behalf of a grateful Nation, I salute the United States Navy for 237 years of service. May God bless and protect you and your families, and may God bless the United States of America.

Barack Obama
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