Celebrating Independence

Photo Credit: U.S. Coast Guard (Walter Shinn)
Photo Credit: U.S. Coast Guard (Walter Shinn)

In July of 1776, sweltering in the summer heat of Philadelphia, fifty-six men from thirteen different colonies boldly signed their names to a document giving birth to the noblest experiment in mankind’s history. Two hundred forty-eight years later, we celebrate the continuation of that experiment, enjoying the liberties and prosperity that followed that signing. 
While we commemorate the Declaration of Independence with concerts and fireworks, we must never lose sight of the fact that despite its longevity, our independence remains an experiment, surviving only as long as there are people—like those original fifty-six—willing to make the contributions such an experiment requires. Vigilance, tolerance, compromise, service, and a strong national defense are among the requisites our democracy demands. 
At the U.S. Naval Institute, we celebrate the continuation of this noble experiment by providing an open forum where the very essence of democracy thrives, a place where people can dare to read, think, speak, and write about issues that matter to all Americans. As we commemorate this landmark anniversary, let us enjoy the benefits we have inherited from the signing of that momentous declaration while acknowledging that the work of experimentation never ends. 
As we celebrate this Fourth of July, we give thanks to the men and women of our armed services safeguarding our liberty, operating at sea, ashore, and in the air in places of danger around the world.

Raymond A. Spicer 
RADM, USN (Ret.)
CEO and Publisher