NASSAU, Bahamas – The Bahamas joined the United States of America in celebrating its 233rd Anniversary, commemorating this year the life and legacy of President Abraham Lincoln.
A ceremony was held at Liberty Overlook, the US ambassador’s residence, Sandford Drive, July 2.
“The Bahamas and the United States are good friends and over the years we have shared a very cordial and mutually beneficial relationship, a relationship we cherish,” said Governor General, His Excellency Arthur D Hanna in his address.
He noted that US President Barak Obama has recommended Nicole Avant to be the new Ambassador to The Bahamas.
”When she is officially appointed, I shall join my fellow Bahamians in welcoming her to our beautiful shores,” he said. “I believe that she will enjoy her sojourn here for we Bahamians are a warm and friendly people. Ms Avant will feel right at home in The Bahamas.”
United States Chargé d` Affaires Tim Brown acknowledged the “long-standing cordial relationship” between the United States and The Bahamas.
“The Bahamas is one of our closest neighbours. Together we share borders, trade and investment, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” Mr. Brown said.
Governor General Hanna noted that America’s Independence celebration this year is “especially noteworthy.”
“For the first time that country has an African-American president in the Oval Office – President Barak Obama,” he said. “His ascent to this high office for many is a dream come true.”
The Governor General said that the 21stCentury promises many new and exciting beginnings.
“We will witness many first time changes that we only dared to dream about during the last century,” the Governor General said. “Embracing and adapting to change will no doubt be challenging, but interesting.”
President Obama has taken office at a time of recession, when world leaders are grappling with how best to keep their economies afloat, he noted.
“Many are looking to the United States for guidance, therefore, the United States’ lead and influence during these turbulent times is critical,” said Mr Hanna. “I pray that God gives President Obama strength, courage and wisdom in such trying times.”
For a man who rose from humble beginnings to the highest office in the land, President Lincoln “beat all the odds,” the Governor General said.
“History records that President Lincoln was a man of strong moral convictions and values,” he said, “a man deemed great because he did the right thing, not the most convenient or popular thing.
“He was a man deemed great because he was not afraid to stand-alone and was not intimidated by the threats of his colleagues who disagreed with him.
“Down through the centuries, people around the world have been inspired by the resoluteness of President Lincoln on the issue of slavery. On January 1, 1836, he issued the emancipation proclamation that declared forever free those slaves within the Confederacy and accepted blacks in the army. In 1864, he endorsed the amendment to the Constitution abolishing slavery.
“Our freedoms are to be carefully guarded and cherished. Thankfully, they are enshrined and protected in our constitutions,” the Governor General said.