U.S. President Barack Obama thanked the US military service members during a barbecue on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington as the nation celebrated its independence on July 4th, with a national holiday.

Military service members attending the White House Independence Day celebration represent the latest in a long line of heroes who have served the United States with honor and sacrificed much to protect the freedoms all Americans enjoy, President Barack Obama said.

“I cannot think of anybody I would rather celebrate with than all of you. The men and women of our military and our extraordinary military families,” the president said.