COMPACAF sends July 4th message Published June 28, 2012 By Gen. Gary North Commander, Pacific Air Forces JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- Independence Day provides us an opportunity to reflect on our nations' rich history while also celebrating our 236th birthday. While we enjoy the holiday with our loved ones, or on far away shores and separated due to military duties, we should also reflect on the debt we owe to the Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen and Coast Guardsmen who made the ultimate sacrifice while fighting to preserve our freedoms. While engaging in the week's festivities, I urge each of you to also make safety a top priority, so that we'll all be ready for duty...everyday. We especially look to Commanders, Command Chiefs, First Sergeants and all front-line supervisors to mentor Airmen toward smart choices. Communicate high expectations for our Airmen and their wingmen to make good decisions and to have sound, well-thought out plans, and as always, a back-up plan. This year's Air Force and PACAF "Critical Days of Summer" safety campaign theme is "Safety--It's Personal" and runs from May 25 through Sept 4. While themes change from year to year, what remains constant is our need for your persistent attention where safety is concerned. We can save lives through unrelenting, top-down education and dialogue, and by taking safety personally - Ultimately, we are all "safety officers!" Planning for your family's safety with a focus on this summer season should begin now. We want to see all our PACAF families return home with great Fourth of July memories. So have fun, play smart, and above all, be safe. Enjoy a great, mishap-free Fourth of July holiday and thank you for your continued commitment to our Air Force, our nation and ensuring and securing our American freedoms that we all hold so very dear!