Ambassador Gitenstein's Independence Day Remarks
Our national day is when we remember what America stands for, and what role we have in living up to those ideals.
As a young man, I was called to public service in part by the words of Robert Kennedy, a man who inspired millions with his conviction in the power and the promise of American ideals. Kennedy served at a time, not unlike our own – a time filled with turbulence and also possibility.
In one of my favorite remarks of his, in South Africa in 1966 where he went to protest Apartheid, he reminded us that, and I quote,
“Like it or not, we live in interesting times. They are times of danger and uncertainty; but they are also the most creative of any time in history.” Un quote
He went on to charge us, including an idealistic young 20-year-old college student in Alabama, that we will be judged on how we contribute to building a better world.
All of us in this room are dedicated to a better world founded on a strong and resilient transatlantic bond. The events of the weekend and especially of the last 16 months, remind us of the challenges we will face in the months and years ahead in realizing that vision.
We will approach these times as we did this weekend, in close and completely transparent dialogue, as friends and partners, and in the words of the EU motto – united in diversity.
May God bless our effort.