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President Barack Obama thanked members of the military at home and abroad, saying the nation couldn’t enjoy the "incredible blessings" in the "greatest country on earth" without their sacrifices and the sacrifices of their families.

"Freedom is not free. It's paid by all the folks who are here today and all the folks who are around the world," Obama told members of the military and military families at an Independence Day celebration on the South Lawn of the White House, after a performance by Bruno Mars.

Obama especially thanked service members who couldn’t be with their families because they are stationed overseas. "We want to especially remember them," Obama said.

A chant of "USA! USA!" went up from the crowd after Obama’s brief speech.

The president’s remarks were postponed by thunderstorms carrying 30 mph winds over the National Mall that prompted officials to urge July 4th event attendees to shelter in place. The order from the U.S. Park Police was issued around 4 p.m. and lifted within two hours.