Message from the Director: Independence Day
Statement to Employees by Director of the Central Intelligence Agency Leon E. Panetta on Independence Day
July 2, 2009
Like many of you, I hope to spend part of this weekend celebrating our nation’s birthday with family and friends. The Fourth of July just doesn’t seem complete without picnics, parades, fireworks, and the Sousa marches we’ve hummed since childhood.
As much as we each enjoy the traditions, Independence Day is, most of all, an opportunity to reflect on the true meaning of our citizenship. The Declaration of Independence makes it clear. To be American is about much more than the place we call home. It’s a deeply felt commitment to higher principles: liberty, equality, opportunity, and self-governance.
As CIA officers, wherever you go, you are America. You defend and advance this nation’s ideals each day. It’s work that matters a great deal to our President, military partners, fellow citizens, and all who aspire to live in freedom. Thanks for your service and dedication—especially those of you who will stand watch this weekend. I wish you all a Happy Fourth of July!
Leon E. Panetta