The president thanked the “fighting men and women of the United States,” saying the U.S. military has played a “special role” in the history of the United States.
“You defended our nation at home and abroad. You fought for our nation's beliefs, to make the world a better and safer place. People in scattered corners of the world live in peace today are free to write their own futures, because of you," Obama said, according to a White House transcript.
Obama did not discuss developments in Egypt, where an interim president was sworn in on Thursday.
Earlier in the day, Obama was briefed by his national security team on Egypt, according to the Associated Press, which said U.S. officials have made calls to officials in Egypt, Israel, Qatar, Turkey and Norway to stress the importance of a quick return of authority to a democratically elected civilian government.
“The President’s Own” Marine Band and Grammy-winning band fun. were scheduled as entertainment, followed by the National Park Service’s fireworks show.
The USO has hosted approximately 6,200 troops and family members at White House Independence Day events during the past five years.