As the United States Ambassador to Colombia, I’m pleased to celebrate with you — American and Colombian friends – the 244th anniversary of the independence of the United States of America.
This year, we celebrate in new and perhaps more modest ways, in order to keep our families and communities safe during this pandemic. But we take pride in celebrating the spirit of 1776. The torch of democracy and human rights that was lit in 1776 does not belong to the United States alone. It is passed from generation to generation and from place to place. Simon Bolivar took inspiration from George Washington, just as civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. took inspiration from Mahatma Gandhi in India.
Today, we are all inspired by the millions of people in the United States, Colombia, and around the world who are working hard to build a world that lives up to the ideals set forth more than two centuries ago. This has been in full display in the United States in recent weeks as we have watched protesters of all ages and races demanding that the promise of our country – an end to racial injustice and the achievement of a more perfect union – become a reality. Peaceful protest is the essence of our democracy. We have come very far, and will continue to build on the values that support life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, just as we recognize that much more must be done.
Through the hardships of the last months, I have renewed optimism that we will rise to the challenges before us. Together, let us celebrate the spirit of freedom.
Thank you to our Colombian friends for joining us in our celebrations today. And to my fellow citizens, Happy 4th of July!