On Friday, July 1, the United States Embassy commemorated the 240th Anniversary of Independence of the United States of America by hosting a celebration in Nassau, at Liberty Overlook. The event was held in partnership with the United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) and included more than 400 of the Embassy’s key contacts representing the government, the business community, civil society, media, and the arts. Among the senior U.S. and Bahamians on hand for the event, U.S. Chargé d’Affaires a.i. Lisa A. Johnson, General Lori J. Robinson, Commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command and the United States Northern Command and Prime Minister of The Bahamas The Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie.
The evening’s theme, “The Magic of Motown” was a tribute to the sound that forever altered and improved American music and culture. Motown Records was founded in Detroit, Michigan in 1959 by Berry Gordy. It was the first African-American owned record label to reach widespread national acclaim with an appeal and audience that transcended race and socio-economic levels. President Obama has referred to Motown music as “the soundtrack of the civil rights era.”
In her remarks, Chargé Johnson highlighted the significance of the occasion, noting that the event serves as an opportunity for Americans to celebrate a rich history of independence as well as share some of the best of American culture and values.
“We salute Motown because it stands for more than just historic music. It is an example of inclusiveness and demonstrates how embracing the contributions of all members of society can bring about progress.” She added, “Americans share the values of democracy, freedom, and opportunity with many countries and people throughout the world. This was evident in the outpouring of support we received after the tragic events in Orlando, a place where many Bahamians have strong ties.”
The Fourth of July celebration included toasts by Chargé Johnson, General Robinson and Prime Minister Christie to mark the close friendship shared between both countries, presentation of U.S. Colors by the U.S. Marine Corps Nassau Detachment, the official cutting of the ceremonial cake and entertainment by the Royal Bahamas Police Force Band and the Bahamas National Youth Choir. A grand fireworks display capped off the spectacular evening.