Governor McDonnell issued the following statement today in recognition and celebration of tomorrow's Independence Day holiday.
"For 236 years, our nation has served as a beacon for the ideals of freedom and democracy, exemplifying the principles that have made us the greatest nation in the world and inspired countless other peoples to stand up against tyranny and oppression wherever it is found. Jefferson, Madison, Henry, Mason, Washington and others, great Virginians who gave birth to this country, drew inspiration from the Commonwealth's beauty and its bounty to stand up and declare our own fledgling country's freedom on July 4, 1776. America was born in Virginia. And the ideals personified and promulgated by our founder's are alive and well today in our great state, which is now home to the largest naval base in the world, the Pentagon, more than 823,000 veterans and their families who have sacrificed so much to defend our freedom, and scores of other important national treasures and military installations. In Virginia you can see our nation's founding, our nation's journey, and our nation's future, all side by side.
"Tomorrow, as Virginians stand over the grill, sit by the pool, or look to the heavens to view flashes of a fireworks display, I encourage them to also reflect upon the countless men and women who have risked their lives by standing up for our principles. These men and women have ensured that the United States of America would indeed prevail as a model for what Jefferson wrote are the self-evident truths of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And let us not forget the thousands of men and women who, on this joyous day, continue to remain in harm's way to protect these ideals at home and for all people around the world who long to be free. The price of freedom remains eternal vigilance.
"God bless America."