President’s Independence Day Message

COL David J. Mollahan, USMC (Retired), MMI President, wrote the following on July 1, 2020 to his staff in advance of the holiday weekend:

To the MMI Campus Community,

As we approach the 4th of July holiday weekend, I wanted to stress how important it is for each of us to be especially careful when engaging in the various social activities that are common during the summer, and during this particular holiday.

As I’m sure you all know by now, the COVID virus spreads primarily through respiratory droplets expelled when talking, yelling, singing, coughing or sneezing, and it depends on relatively close (less than 6 or more feet), and unprotected (no face covering) personal contact, whether indoors or outdoors, although being outdoors presents a bit less of a risk.

You may also know that the recent spike in COVID cases in Alabama and around the country is in large part due to Memorial Day weekend activities.  If Memorial Day is an indicator, and unless we change behavior, then we can expect another spike in late July/early August because of 4th of July activities, a spike that would occur just as we are about to start the first phases of cadet arrivals for ITC and the Fall semester.

To avoid such a spike this time we all must diligently exercise the three most effective risk mitigation measures proven to substantially reduce virus transmission – hand hygiene, a minimum of 6-feet of social distancing, AND the use of face coverings as barrier protection.

With this in mind, I ask each of you to please, please, please be responsible…be conscientious…and be careful to protect yourselves and to protect others as you engage in the various activities that are common during a long 4th of July holiday weekend, and continue this approach for all things going forward.

This does not mean we can’t enjoy this summer holiday, the summer itself, or any other activities, but it does mean that we need to do so responsibly.

COVID can be stopped if we all do our part, and so the more we honor the risk mitigation guidance and measures, whether on campus, at home, in public, or at a 4th of July holiday event, the more impact we will have on stopping COVID’s spread, the safer we will all be, and the sooner we can get back to some degree of normalcy.

At the same time, in doing this, we will become accustomed to these measure which will make it easier to operate this way once cadets arrive, and we can set the right example for them.

As we get closer to bringing cadets back to campus, we each must be healthy and fully ready to go so we can provide the best educational experience we can to our cadets; and we will do this through the successful completion of a fully on-campus fall semester despite the COVID challenges.

Finally, I hope you will take a moment to reflect on what this upcoming holiday is all about.  Reflect on the ideals that created the movement that brought to life the Declaration of Independence.

Reflect on the fact that despite the tumultuous days we are living through, days that are beginning to rival those of the turbulent 1960s, that our independence is fundamentally based on the notion that we are of one kind – mankind; we are of one race – the human race; and before we are of any particular political persuasion, we are of one people – the American people.

The Declaration of Independence reminds us of this with its sublime phase:  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”  Which in turn leads to The U.S. Constitution that begins with 3 of the most powerful words in history – “We The People”.

This is what the 4th of July is all about.  And for this, we as Americans have every right to be proud.

Enjoy the holiday break, but please be careful, please be safe, please protect yourself, please protect those around you, and be ready to start ramping up next week as we drive toward the Fall of 2020.

Happy 4th of July.

v/r

DJM