Even before we became independent, there were militiamen valiantly fighting to set the
foundation for self-rule and democracy.
The National Guard's rich heritage and lasting contributions to freedom are reflected in the work of one such Citizen Soldier.
On the evening of July 4, 1776, in Philadelphia, a militiaman and printer named John Dunlap produced the first copies of the Declaration of Independence. Imagine his sense of purpose as he worked late into the night, turning out the document that announced to the world, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that al/ men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. "John Dunlap has taken his place in history as a highly skilled craftsman who was also a seasoned militiaman.
Today's Citizen Soldiers and Airmen carry on this rich tradition as they fight for freedom, protect our homeland and serve our fellow citizens.
I want to express my immeasurable gratitude for your contributions to the freedoms we
all share, and I wish you and your families a safe and enjoyable Independence Day.
CRAIG R. MCKINLEY
Chief, National Guard Bureau