Remarks at Embassy’s 2014 U.S. Independence Day Reception

Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen, distinguished guests, sponsors, colleagues of the diplomatic corps, and friends.  On behalf of U.S. Embassy Brasilia, and my husband Luis, it is my great pleasure to welcome you to our Independence Day celebration.

Thank you for joining us this evening to celebrate the 238th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America.

It is truly an exciting time to celebrate the Fourth of July here in Brazil’s capital.  The U.S.-Brazil relationship is as vibrant and vital as at any point in our histories.  Vice President Joseph Biden’s recent visit with President Rousseff and Vice President Temer is a testament to this fact.

We are gathered this evening to celebrate the vision and courage of our Founding Fathers who, two hundred and thirty eight years ago, on July 4, 1776, declared to the world some self-evident truths:  “That all men and women are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

These are the most cherished principles that we as Americans strive to uphold.  With these principles to guide us, the United States has become a country rich in multi-cultural heritage, traditions, entrepreneurial spirit, technological advancement, and committed to promoting peace, prosperity, and human development.

Our Founding Fathers recognized these rights not only for Americans, but for all humankind.   And, I know that Brazilians, as individuals and as a nation, also believe in these same values and principles.  It is one of the reasons the U.S.-Brazil relationship has been and remains so strong.

On the Fourth of July, Americans of all creeds, all colors, religions, and orientations commemorate these principles.  We get together, much like Brazilians celebrate game days of the national team, with family and friends.  We decorate our streets with the colors of our flag, barbeque, sing songs, and light fireworks.

This year’s World Cup is a perfect example of how shared values, in this case, the love of sports, can unify the global community, helping people put aside their differences.  Throughout the Cup, we have all witnessed how our teams and athletes of our nations captured our imaginations and inspired us.  I had the opportunity to witness this firsthand and even lost my voice cheering on the teams.

As we celebrate U.S. Independence Day and the values that make our nations great, let us recognize our shared national endeavors to increase opportunities for all of our people.  Whether through educational opportunities, business ventures, or government-sponsored exchanges, Brazilians and Americans and others are developing ties that will advance our partnership and create a better future for our citizens.  A future that as Vice President Biden described during his recent visit here is “an immense promise,” in which “the sky is literally the limit of what we can achieve together.”

Before concluding my remarks, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors.  The generous contribution of each of these approximately 100 businesses made tonight’s celebration possible.  A special thanks to each of them.  There are too many for me to mention by name – almost 100 companies – a, but you will see their names broadcast on the screen behind me and in various places throughout the residence.

And, I would also like to thank all my staff at the Embassy, who worked hard to organize this beautiful party.  I would also like to thank tonight’s emcee, Todd Chapman, my Deputy Chief of Mission, who has helped me since my arrival nine months ago.  Today, I believe, will be Todd’s last July 4 for now in Brazil, as he will be leaving shortly to return to Washington.  Many thanks, Todd.  I would like to publicly thank you for all that you have done for me as well as for Brazil

I would like to take this opportunity wish each of you the best and good luck to the Brazilian Men’s National Team.  For this reason we are hosting the Fourth of July today and not tomorrow, otherwise I don’t believe we would have such a great turnout.  I would like to thank each of you for your friendship and continued support of the partnership between Brazil and the United States.

I would like to raise a toast to a Happy Independence Day!  Thank you for your friendship!  Enjoy the evening!  Thank you.