A big Mahalo to JBPHH ohana

Col. Douglas E. Pierce
Commander, 647th Air Base Group, 15th Wing, and Deputy Commander, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam

Recently Rear Adm. Brian Fort, commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, compared the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise to the World Cup — many nations from all over the world joining together, their flags flying, showing their skills and demonstrating a passionate commitment to teamwork.

At Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH), we’re fortunate to be the showcase installation for the “World Cup of international maritime exercises.”

As the showcase installation, there’s an added pride to be able to hold our Independence Day celebration and share this experience with our 25,000 RIMPAC guests.

Some of the most powerful words written by man open the Declaration of Independence … “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all 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.”

We declared our independence as a new nation, the United States of America, on July 4, 1776. This declaration, both in thought and action, was revolutionary. Shortly after signing the declaration, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail, that this day “will be the most memorable epocha in the history of America.

“I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival … it ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward for-evermore.”

July 4th is a day to celebrate our freedom and democracy. It’s a day to reflect on the sacrifice our founders were willing to make — pledging their lives, fortune and honor to bring about a nation where all people have a right to freedom and liberty.

With that said, I would like to take the time to thank all of those who serve, or have served, our great nation — active duty military, guardsmen, reservists or civil servant — thank you for all you do. The sacrifices you and your families make each day continue to make our freedoms possible.

I would also like to thank our JBPHH ohana for their outstanding work and coordination in planning and putting on “the great anniversary festival” for all of us to enjoy.

From the family events, the concert, and — of course — the fireworks, it was really meaningful to share the day and evening with family and friends.

As an aside, the Joint Base commander, Capt. Jeff Bernard, would want me to remind everyone it was the biggest fireworks show on the island for Independence Day.

I’d also like to extend an extra special thanks to Security and Morale, Welfare and Recreation for the long hours and hard work to make our celebration both safe and memorable. Well done!

Finally, I want to thank y’all for what you will continue to do. Throughout the remainder of the summer — and especially this month — we will continue to have an opportunity to shine, from the waterfront to the flight line, from the main base to each of our annexes.

Remain vigilant in the completion of your duties and committed to safety and security while maintaining the immaculate appearance of our showcase installation for the “World Cup of international maritime exercises.”

Mahalo nui loa and much aloha — not just today, but every day!

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Category: News