Remarks – Official Fourth of July Ceremony to Commemorate 239th Anniversary of Independence

Your Excellency, Mr. Acting Prime Minister, distinguished guests, good evening.

On behalf of the U.S. Mission to the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, thank you for joining us this evening as we celebrate the two hundred and thirty-ninth anniversary of the Independence of the United States of America.

I would like to acknowledge all the members of the U.S. Mission who worked so hard to put this celebration together.  They did a wonderful job.   Also, I would like to thank our generous partners, without whom this event would not be possible.

Two hundred and thirty-nine years ago, the founders of the United States of America came together and declared a new nation based on the idea that all men are created equal with certain unalienable rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.   Signing the Declaration of Independence in 1776, these American patriots created the first government of, by, and for the people.

On Independence Day, Americans around the world gather with family and friends to celebrate the values that inspired these patriots who created our nation, and the ideals of democracy that have become the foundation of the American dream.  It is a time for us to mark the occasion of our independence, take pride in our history, and look to the future with confidence.  It is also a time to offer our gratitude to all those who have sought to advance freedom and lay the foundations for peace.

At tonight’s event, we pay tribute to the American Southwest and the spirit and struggle of the Wild West frontier.  In resolving to move west during the 19th century, many ordinary Americans began a journey of idealism and bravery, boldness and individualism, enterprise and courage.

The unyielding spirit that led those pioneers to blaze a westward trail is part of what defines us as Americans.  It is what has inspired generations of Americans to explore, discover, and redefine the outer reaches of our potential.

Like our nation’s pioneers who blazed trails and explored new frontiers many years ago, we too have challenging frontiers to explore today.  And no nation can meet these challenges alone.  We all must work together to ensure that our countries live up to their promise and great potential.

With this in mind, today is not simply about commemorating the past.  It is also a call to join together and to carry the same unyielding spirit of America’s pioneers into tomorrow as we tackle the challenges we face.

America’s values, ideals, and freedoms are not unique to Americans.  They are embodied in the constitutions of many nations around the world, including that of The Bahamas.  It has been my distinct honor over the past year to serve as a representative of my country to this beautiful nation that shares our ideals of freedom, democracy, and mutual prosperity.

Today is not only a celebration of America’s independence — it is a celebration of the common ideals, values, and humanity that the nations of the world share.  The same idealism, boldness, and innovation of the American pioneers who travelled west is alive and well here in The Bahamas.  Their spirit is the same spirit that guides our nations now, and into our bright futures together.

TOAST:

And now, please join me in raising our glasses to toast this celebration, and the shared democratic values of the United States of America and the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

Let it be a salute to freedom, liberty, and justice for all.  May it strengthen the close friendship that our two countries share.  And let it mark the coming celebration of your own nation’s liberty, democracy, and independence.

May God bless the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, and God bless the United States of America.

Happy U.S. Independence!