The United States Embassy in Apia hosted an official reception of its 242nd Independence celebrations on Friday.
It was a time for invited guests to experience the spirit of the 4th of July with drinks brought from the U.S. for its citizens who now live in Samoa.
Young Maryanne Savai'inaea was the highlight of the night when she sang the national anthems of the U.S. and Samoa.
U.S Ambassador, Scott Brown said: “At the 4th of July parties, I find myself regularly thinking of the letter John Adams, one of the founding fathers from the great State of Massachusetts wrote to his beloved wife, Abigail, immediately after the United States declared its Independence in 1776.
“He said: ‘it ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnised with pomp and parade, with shews, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more.”
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi congratulated the U.S. and thanked them for supporting Samoa and the Pacific region.
“It is fitting that this event reflects the values of our two countries shared democracy, fair economic opportunities and human rights,” he said.
“Official diplomatic relations between our two countries dates back to 1971. Since then we have worked together to protect the environment and fisheries as well as to promote sustainable development in the region as well as the strengthening of the tenants of democracy and human rights.
“No doubt the United States assistance to the education sector through infrastructural upgrading and improving teacher quality through the services of the U.S. Peace Corp that have ensured a much improved and secure learning environment for the students and the opportunities for the professional development for the teaching staff,” he said.
Tuilaepa also shared some of the projects that the United States Embassy in Samoa would undergo this year.
“I am very pleased to know that further upgrading works will take place later in the year for schools in Savaii through the United States Pacific commands, humanitarian funds.
“I take this opportunity to also acknowledge the long standing 51-year presence of the United States Peace Corps in Samoa, primarily as educators and for the cross-cultural ties they have developed over the years.
“I would also acknowledge the work of the embassy through its grant system to help civil societies and communities to build bridges where there are gaps in the areas of gender equality, environmental awareness, health and safety, youth and sports and improve media practices,” Tuilaepa said.