That motto, Semper Fidelis - "Always Faithful" - burns in the soul of every Marine, a sacred promise the Corps has kept since the birth of our country. They are the elite masters of air and land and sea, on battlefields across the globe. They are the United States Marines. (Applause.)
Representing the Marine Corps today will be a brand new VH-92, soon to serve as Marine One - (applause) - along with two V-22 Ospreys from the famed HMX-1 helicopter squadron at Quantico, the "Nighthawks."
("Marines' Hymn" is played with a flyover.)
In June of 1775, the Continental Congress created a unified army out of the revolutionary forces encamped around Boston and New York, and named after the great George Washington, Commander-in-Chief.
The Continental Army suffered the bitter winter of Valley Forge, found glory across the waters of the Delaware, and seized victory from Cornwallis of Yorktown.
Our Army manned the (inaudible) - it manned the ramparts. It took over the airports. It did everything it had to do. And at Fort McHenry, under the rockets' red glare, it had nothing but victory. And when dawn came, their Star Spangled Banner waved defiant. (Applause.)
At Shiloh, Antietam, and Gettysburg, our soldiers gave the last full measure of devotion for the true unity of our nation and the freedom of all Americans. (Applause.)
In the trenches of World War One, an Army Sergeant named Alvin York faced an inferno of enemy fire and refused to retreat. He said, "I won't leave. I won't stop."
He shot his rifle 18 times, killing 18 of the enemy. When they fixed bayonets and charged, he killed seven more. The entire German machine gun battalion surrendered because of one man, Alvin York.
A generation later, the Army returned to Europe, and embarked upon a great crusade. With knives and rifles in hand, the Rangers scaled the cliffs of Normandy. The 101st Airborne leapt into the danger from above, illuminated only by enemy flares, explosions, and burning aircraft. They threw back the Nazi empire with lightning of their own, from the turrets of Sherman tanks and the barrels of the M1 rifle.
In the darkness of the Battle of the Bulge, with Nazis on every side, one soldier is reported to have said: "They've got us surrounded again, the poor bastards."
(Laughter and applause.)
Outnumbered, American warriors fought through the bunkers of Pork Chop Hill and held the line of civilization in Korea.
In the elephant grass of Vietnam, the First Cavalry made its stand amid a forest consumed in flame, with enemies at every single turn.
The Army brought America's righteous fury down to Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and cleared the bloodthirsty killers from their caves.
They liberated Fallujah and Mosul, and helped liberate and obliterate the ISIS caliphate, just recently, in Syria. One hundred percent gone. (Applause.)
Through the centuries, our soldiers have always pointed towards home, proclaiming, "This We'll Defend."
They live by the creed of Douglas MacArthur: "In war, there is no substitute for victory."
They are the greatest soldiers on Earth. (Applause.)
("The Army Goes Rolling Along"
is played with a flyover.)
Nearly 250 years ago, a volunteer army of farmers and shopkeepers, blacksmiths, merchants, and militiamen risked life and limb to secure American liberty and self-government.
This evening, we have witnessed the noble might of the warriors who continue that legacy. They guard our birthright with vigilance and fierce devotion to the flag and to our great country.
Now we must go forward as a nation with that same unity of purpose. As long as we stay true to our cause, as long as we remember our great history, as long as we never ever stop fighting for a better future, then there will be nothing that America cannot do. (Applause.)
USA! USA! USA!
We will always be the people who defeated a tyrant, crossed a continent, harnessed science, took to the skies, and soared into the heavens because we will never forget that we are Americans and the future belongs to us. (Applause.)
The future belongs to the brave, the strong, the proud, and the free. We are one people, chasing one dream, and one magnificent destiny. We all share the same heroes, the same home, the same heart, and we are all made by the same Almighty God. (Applause.)
And from the banks of the Chesapeake to the cliffs of California, from the humming shores of the Great Lakes to the sand dunes of the Carolinas, from the fields of the Heartland to the everglades of Florida, the spirit of American independence will never fade, never fail, but will reign forever and ever and ever. (Applause.)
So once more, to every citizen throughout our land: Have a glorious Independence Day. Have a great Fourth of July.
I want to thank the Army Band, the National Park Service, the Interior Department, the incredible pilots overhead, and those who are making possible the amazing fireworks display later this evening.
Now, as the band plays "The Battle Hymn of the Republic,"
I invite the First Lady, Vice President and Mrs. Pence, the Service Secretaries and military leaders to join me onstage for one more salute to America by the famous, incredible, talented Blue Angels. (Applause.)
God bless you. God bless the military. And God bless America. Happy Fourth of July.
("The Battle Hymn of the Republic" is played with a flyover.)
END 7:32 P.M. EDT
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