OT-1111E | Date: 07/05/2011 | (As Prepared for Delivery)
Foreign Minister Yang, ladies and gentlemen: Good evening to all!
Thank you all for coming tonight to join with us to celebrate the 235th birthday of the United States of America.
We are honored to have Foreign Minister Yang with us this evening to celebrate the 4th of July.
Also back by popular demand, we are happy to have a U.S. Navy 7th Fleet Band with us for a second year in a row. This year we have the incomparable “Orient Express” under the direction of Musician First Class Christopher Sams. They will share with us a collection of American music classics that will not only entertain you but also evoke the spirit of the United States.
On July 4, 1776, our founding fathers pledged their lives, fortunes and honor to defend the universal truth that we all have certain unalienable rights, and among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Freedom isn’t free, of course. Every day, we witness the struggle for freedom around the world as people sacrifice for those unalienable rights.
On this day, it is an honor for me to be in a great democracy like Taiwan as we celebrate the 4th of July. For more than 60 years, the people of Taiwan and the United States have worked and prospered together, becoming close friends and partners.
Looking at the images from our American Footsteps in Taiwan exhibition, we have both benefited from our cooperation in many fields — the arts, business, public health, and my personal favorite — education. We also share an enduring commitment to freedom and democracy and the values this day represents.
Tomorrow, in the coming year, and the years after that, we must keep working together to strengthen our friendship and vital ties and promote our common values.
Let me now offer a toast to the people of Taiwan and the people of the United States, to our love of freedom, and to our deep friendship — to the people of Taiwan and the people of the United States.