As you may know, July 4th is a big day for the United States. It was this day, back in 1776, when we declared our independence from Great Britain. It was the day we embarked on a journey to create a government of, by, and for the people.
I am writing from my home in Ohio, and while it is nice to be in the United States celebrating Independence Day with my family, I regret having to miss what I know was a wonderful 4th of July event with our Armenian friends and partners at the U.S. Embassy.
Fortunately, by watching the livestream of the event on our Embassy’s Facebook page, I was able to feel like I was there! It was an honor to have Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan as our guest of honor, and I thought our Chargé d’Affaires, Deborah Grieser, did a fantastic job representing the United States – in fact, I wanted to share with those who weren’t at the event some of the sentiments that she expressed:
“Tonight we celebrate the adoption of the United States Declaration of Independence – when, 243 years ago, dozens of colonists gathered on a hot summer’s day in Philadelphia to assert their intention to create a new nation, and a government responsive to the needs of its citizens.
This was a remarkable step – having the audacity to break away from the world’s greatest colonial power. But it was, of course, only the beginning of democracy in America.
Thomas Jefferson – the author of the Declaration of Independence – said: “the generation which commences a revolution rarely completes it.” And he was right: the first step of the American Revolution was to break away from British rule.
But actualizing the vision Jefferson outlined, creating a new nation where everyone was equal and able to realize the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, proved much more difficult.
It is something we Americans are still working on some 243 years later; something that healthy democracies must continuously strive to achieve.
It has been exciting to be in Armenia over the past year and to watch you forge a new democratic path. The United States is committed to continuing to work with our Armenian partners across all sectors of society to ensure that the strong democracy that you, the people of Armenia, envision for your country is realized.”
I too, am looking forward to returning to Armenia and working to further advance our partnership. Happy Independence Day to all! I can’t wait to get back to Armenia, the place I now call home!