Happy 236th Independence America
Nassau, Bahamas — On Tuesday, July 3 the United States Embassy commemorated the 236th Anniversary of Independence of the United States of America by hosting a celebration in Nassau, The Bahamas aboard the U.S. Naval Ship USS ANZIO docked at Prince George Wharf. The event was held in partnership with the United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) and included more than 200 of The Bahamas’ top leaders, representing the government, the business community, civil society, media, and the arts.
Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy John Dinkelman, Major General Francis G. Mahon, His Excellency Sir Arthur A. Foulkes, Governor General of The Bahamas, and Lieutenant Commander Samuel G. Wartell provided official remarks at the event.
In his remarks, the Chargé spoke of the longstanding friendship and shared democratic values between the Commonwealth of The Bahamas and the United States of America. He also express his gratitude to the selfless men and women in uniform for their commitment to the defense of liberty and freedom and honored the United States’ Founding Fathers for forging a nation that’s more just, more equal and more free.
“The Fourth of July would simply be a mark on a calendar, and the Declaration of Independence a mere piece of parchment were it not for the vision of our Founding Fathers,” Chargé Dinkelman said. “They had a vision and belief that freedom is a god given right and fought to preserve it for all generations.”
The official ceremony included a toast to the continued prosperity of both nations and the Retiring of the Colors, which takes place each day at sunset around the world on those Navy ships fortunate enough to find themselves in port. The ceremony concluded with a presentation of intertwined U.S. and Bahamian flags to the Governor General of The Bahamas on behalf of the USS ANZIO, the U.S. Embassy and the American people as an illustration of the two nation’s enduring friendship. A grand fireworks display over Nassau Harbour capped off the spectacular evening.
Americans around the world celebrates Independence Day on the 4th of July to mark the day the Continental Congress adopted the final draft of the Declaration of Independence. From July 8, 1776, until the next month, the document was read publicly and people celebrated whenever they heard it. Bells rang and ships fired guns, candles and firecrackers were lighted to celebrate the United States’ sovereignty; elements of U.S. Independence Day celebration traditions that continue to this day.
U.S. Embassies worldwide traditionally hold an official event to mark Independence Day as a reminder of the strength of the values epitomized by America’s Founding Fathers. This year was the first time that the U.S. Embassy’s official Independence Day celebration in Nassau was held aboard a U.S. naval vessel. The USS ANZIO was named for the Battle of Anzio in Italy, the site of a key Allied amphibious assault during the drive for Rome in the Second World War. It therefore is representative of the fight for democracy and liberty waged by countless men and women in uniform.
The United States Embassy would like to thank the following sponsors in Nassau and Freeport that helped to make both events a success – Atlantis Resort/Kerzner International, Bahamas Food Services, Betty K Agencies, Boston Beer Company, Bristol Wines & Spirits, British Colonial Hilton Nassau, Budget Rent A Car, Burns House Group of Companies, Caribbean Bottling Company (Bahamas) Ltd., Caribbean Fuels Services, Dartley Bank & Trust Ltd., Esso Bahamas Ltd., Greyco Ltd., and Phoenix Aviation T/A Odyssey