This is the 236th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. We salute those who sacrificed it all to begin a new life as an independent nation. Our founding fathers were men of principles and vision. The legal separation of the thirteen colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776. On that day, the 2nd Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence . After that, the work of writing began, and Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the much-celebrated Declaration of Independence. Remarkably, on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the declaration, July 4, 1826, both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died. Throughout the decades, we have been called upon to fight for the principles on which our country was founded. In fact, today in the U.S. Navy, we have 93 Battle Force Ships deployed, along with 32 Attack Submarines. Aircraft carriers underway to protect our freedom include the USS Enterprise, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, the USS Abraham Lincoln, the USS George Washington, and the USS John C. Stennis. Amphibious assault ships deployed include the USS Peleliu, the USS Iwo Jima, and the USS Bonnhomme Richard. We pay tribute to these honorable men and women who have stood up for freedom, and allow us to enjoy the daily liberties we took often take for granted.