U.S. Embassy Montevideo - Archives

Ambassador Martin J. Silverstein's Fourth of July Message

Posted: July 4, 2005

Today, July 4, 2005, we celebrate the 229th anniversary of the Declaration of the Independence of the United States of America.

Our founding founders signed the Declaration in 1776, knowing they were committing an act of treason punishable by death in the eyes of the foreign crown. They did so because they understood the fundamental principle that the right to freedom is often as valuable as the gift of life itself.

The Declaration of Independence was a victory of ideas and principles over tyranny. A victory of democratic values over a government by unilateral decree.

Today, the rejoicing that takes place in America on July 4th is not only done by those whose forefathers came to the shores of America in the 15th century, but also by the most recent waves of immigration from Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. These immigrants are motivated by personal dignity, the search for a better life, the fulfillment of their dreams and the exercise of their natural liberties. Their thirst for liberty is not unlike that of America ' s founding fathers, in that they often sacrifice everything they own and sometime even risk death, to reach America ' s shores. Libertad o muerte.

Americans do not see freedom as a personal possession to be selfishly kept to ourselves. We see it as a principle worth giving our lives for, so that total strangers may enjoy its fruit. At this very moment, as in generations before, young American men and women are dying on foreign fields of battle so that others may be free. Today, as a special day for all freedom loving people of the world, our hope is that all people, including our neighbors 150 kilometers from our Florida shores, will one day experience true liberty. The American patriot, Thomas Paine wrote in 1776 that absolute governments are the disgrace of human nature. He noted that circumstances arise which are not local, but universal, and through which the principles of all lovers of mankind are affected and are the concern of every man to whom nature has given the power of feeling.

I have had the opportunity to visit every corner of this lovely country of Uruguay and in every place I have come across people who share along with my people the same irrefutable faith in freedom and democracy. It is my hope that all Uruguayans will speak out for freedom for all citizens of the world. I wish to convey my very best wishes for the progress and prosperity of Uruguay. Happy 4th of July.

Thank you.


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