Today is Independence Day in the United States.
However, it was on Wednesday, July 2, 2014 that local officials came together to celebrate the 238th anniversary.
Jubilation filled the air at the US Embassy headquarters in Wildey, St Michael, as more than 600 guests, including government ministers, members of the diplomatic corps, prominent business people, and key mission contacts, came together in a special toast the United States.
The US Embassy’s event, America the Beautiful: A Red, White and Blue Affair, was one of many celebrations hosted by US embassies worldwide in commemoration of independence. Embassy Bridgetown held its celebration on July 2, in acknowledgement of the July 2, 1776 date on which the Continental Congress approved a motion for independence to set the 13 American colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation.
Barbados’ Governor General Sir Elliott Belgrave and his wife, Lady Belgrave, were guests of honour at the event hosted by US Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Larry Palmer. Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy brought greetings on behalf of the Government of Barbados.
The formal ceremony included a presentation of colours by the US Marine Security Guard Detachment, the singing of the Barbados national anthem by The Mighty Gabby and the United States national anthem by gospel singer Paula Hinds.
In his remarks, Minister Sealy congratulated the United States, citing the long and productive relationship that both Barbados and the United States have enjoyed over the years.
“The United States was one of the first countries to recognise Barbados when we gained independence in 1966, and since then, the relationship has worked well for both of us. Barbados is proud of what the United States has achieved, and we are also proud of the little role we played in this,” he said.
The formal ceremony culminated in a pyrotechnics display as the US Marines presented the Independence Day cake which was cut by Ambassador Palmer and his wife Lucille.