PRESS RELEASE – On July 2, jubilation filled the air at the U.S. Embassy as more than 800 guests, including Caribbean prime ministers, Barbados government ministers, members of the diplomatic corps, prominent business people, clergy, and key Mission contacts, came to toast America on her 239th anniversary of independence.
The U.S. Embassy’s event was one of many celebrations hosted by U.S. embassies worldwide to commemorate U.S. independence. Embassy Bridgetown held its celebration on July 2, in a nod to July 2, 1776, the date on which the Continental Congress approved a motion for independence to set the 13 American colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation.
Distinguished guests included: the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, the Honorable Gaston Browne; the Prime Minister of Dominica, the Honorable Roosevelt Skerrit; the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, the Honorable Dr. Timothy Harris; the Prime Minister of St. Lucia, the Honorable Kenny Anthony; the Premier of the British Virgin Islands, Orlando Smith; the Attorney General of Barbados, the Honorable Adriel Brathwaite; and Barbados’ Minister of Health, the Honorable John Boyce.
The formal ceremony included a presentation of colors by the United States Marines, the singing of the Barbados national anthem and the United States national anthem by Paula Hinds, and Lori Boes respectively, and an invocation by Pastor Elector Pearson.
Minister of Tourism and International Transport, the Honorable Richard Sealy, and U.S. Ambassador to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the OECS, Dr. Larry Palmer both delivered remarks.
In his remarks, which he delivered on behalf of the Barbados government, Minister Sealy underscored the close and productive relationship which the United States enjoys with Barbados, and the Eastern Caribbean and lauded Ambassador Palmer’s accomplishments and commitment to partnership.
In his remarks, Ambassador Palmer said that since its founding, the United States had become a richly diverse nation that speaks in a multitude of voices. “The core principles on which our government was founded remain as true to us today as they were at our independence. That all men and women are created equal; that we are endowed by the Creator with rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of our own share of happiness; and that all people deserve a government that holds those rights as sacrosanct. It is these principles that guide our interactions with the governments and people of the Eastern Caribbean, and that underscore our commitment to human rights in the United States, throughout the Eastern Caribbean, and around the world.”
Following his remarks, Ambassador Palmer invited guests to join him in a toast to America’s independence. The formal ceremony culminated in a pyrotechnics display as the U.S. Marines presented the Independence Day cake that was cut by Ambassador Palmer. Guests then dined on classic American food and danced the night away to the sounds of local band, Brass Soul.