[As prepared for delivery]
Ladies and Gentlemen, Foreign Minister Park, General LaCamera, members of Congress and the National Assembly, and distinguished guests, it is my great pleasure to welcome you to the U.S. Embassy’s Independence Day Reception. My colleagues and I are excited to celebrate this occasion with our friends and partners in Korea.
2023 marks the 247th year of Independence for the United States of America, and 70 years of our ironclad Alliance with the Republic of Korea.
This Alliance has grown from a fundamental guarantee of peace and security on the Peninsula into a global comprehensive strategic partnership. Today, it is an alliance for the future. As we like to say, we go together – as allies, partners, and friends – to advance our shared democratic values, economic prosperity, and so much more.
As you look around, you will see that we are featuring parts of American life: road tripping in a classic car or motorcycle, ordering delicious foods from a food truck, sipping on “Alliance Ale,” or my favorite—enjoying a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston. For these few hours, we wanted to ‘bring you to America’.
And in my first year as the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, I have I have seen much in common our countries have, either through our shared democratic values, the strong people-to-people and business ties, and so many other bonds that unite our nations. President Yoon and President Biden made it clear during the State Visit in Washington a few months ago, that the Alliance has never been stronger.
Before getting to the rest of the program, I would like to thank our many sponsors — whose logos are displayed here on both sides of the room– for generously providing monetary and in-kind donations that made tonight’s reception possible.
Thank you for again for attending, enjoy the celebration.