Ambassador Tracy’s July 4 Remarks
U.S. Embassy Compound
Thursday, June 30, 2022
Deputy Prime Minister Matevosyan, honorable guests, friends, fellow Americans.
I am so happy to welcome you all to our July 4th Celebration. This is first time in three years that we have been able to gather in person!
I want to express appreciation to our sponsors for their support of our Independence Day reception. And, offer a big thanks to local businesses and my entire Embassy team for all their hard work to make this event a success.
Today we are celebrating the 246th anniversary of America’s independence.
246 years ago, nothing was certain about the America’s experiment in democracy. We declared our independence with a bold statement of our principles, aspirations, and vision – “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men 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. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
But American democracy did not begin and end with this declaration and the creation of a constitution. We fought two wars to secure our independence and a civil war to end slavery. For over 150 years since then, progress toward our aspirations of freedom and equality for all has come only with long, hard struggle. And, we still aren’t done. In the United States, we continue to wrestle with the meaning of our constitution and to make choices as citizens. Because democracy is not static. It is a process, a continued renewal of commitments to fundamental principles. By its nature, it takes work to sustain – and at times, it can seem fragile. But, I have no doubt that we Americans will continue the process of perfecting our democracy and pursuing accountability and integrity within our institutions of government.
Today, we are also celebrating the long partnership between our two nations, including over the last 30 years of Armenia’s independence.
It has been a privilege to represent the United States in this culturally rich country, and it has been my honor to support Armenia’s democratic journey, particularly in a period of great challenges for Armenia. I am not alone in this endeavor. Harry Gilmore, our first Ambassador, forged the bonds of partnership in the early years of Armenia’s independence during a time of darkness, hardship, and uncertainty. Each of the eight Ambassadors who followed throughout the last 30 years, leading a spectrum of U.S. government agencies, have worked to support the aspirations of Armenians for a peaceful, prosperous, and democratic future. And, I am very grateful to my predecessors and the Embassy’s long-serving national staff for sharing their memories of partnership as well as President Khachaturyan who recalled Ambassador Gilmore’s tenure for our Facebook storytelling celebration of the 30th anniversary of U.S.-Armenia relations.
The stories of our partnership encompass support for democratic institutions, civil society, free and fair journalism, economic growth, energy diversification, inclusive education, improved healthcare, access to water, security cooperation, preservation of cultural heritage, exchange programs, and humanitarian needs. We have partnered with Armenians in and out of government, like-minded diplomats and international organizations, and American citizens, including proud Armenian-Americans. The tie that has animated this cooperation has been a shared sense of values. And, it is the power of these partnerships that has helped drive the significant progress we have seen in Armenia over the past thirty years.
In closing, I would like to echo the words of President John F. Kennedy who once said, “Partnership is not a posture but a process- a continuous process that grows stronger each year as we devote ourselves to common tasks.” May the next 30 years and more see the U.S.-Armenia partnership continue to grow in strength as we pursue a shared vision of a peaceful, democratic future for our countries.
I wish everyone a Happy Independence Day!