Americans celebrate 240 years of independence in Samoa

By Vatapuia Maiava 13 July 2016, 12:00AM

There’s no better way to celebrate the birthday of America than with an all out American style cook out reception.

And that is exactly what happened on Monday night at the U.S. Residence in Vailima where guests were invited to have a taste of the American culture in celebration of the country’s 240th (plus a few days) birthday.

After a brief prayer by Peter Bendinelli and the singing of both the Samoan and the American national anthems by Dikaiosune Atoa Tamaalii, U.S. Ambassador Mark Gilbert addressed the crowd.

“Today we celebrate 240 years since our independence day,” he said.

“We are not commemorating the birthday of a leader or a famous battle, we are celebrating an idea so beautiful which was expressed by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence on July 4th 1776. 

“We hold these truths to be self-evident – that all men are created equal- that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights – that among these are life – liberty – and pursuit of happiness.” The night’s reception was also to celebrate 100 years of the National Park Service. “Tonight and throughout this year we are celebrating another idea, our national parks,” Mr. Gilbert said. 

“When I am here in Samoa – surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty- I think about how much our National Parks have in common with the many wondrous sites around the island.

“Be it swimming in the modern marvel that is the To Sua trench or cooling off at the Togitogiga Waterfall or relishing the view from the top of the Falealupo Walkway, you encourage visitors to enjoy Samoa in a responsible and sustainable manner. “On this special 100th anniversary of our park service and 240th birthday of our country – thank you for joining Nancy and I to celebrate two ideas for which we remain eternally grateful. 

“We celebrate vision of freedom that gave birth to a new nation and the idea that our incredible natural and cultural wonders should be protected and accessible to all.”

Guests enjoyed the rest of the night with their beverage of choice and American food galore.

By Vatapuia Maiava 13 July 2016, 12:00AM

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