By Alagie Manneh
The US Embassy in Banjul Tuesday celebrated the 242nd anniversary of the independence of the United States of America with a toast to stronger economic ties between Washington and Banjul.
It was celebrated at the Coco Ocean Hotel, and brought together top government officials including the vice President Ousainu Darboe, national assembly members, judiciary and other Gambian nationals.
“Today we are gathered in remembrance of July 4, 1776, which is when the Continental Congress of the 13 American colonies approved the declaration of independence,” Patricia Alsup, US ambassador to TheGambia, said.
“Of course, that event marked a turning point in American history, but that Declaration also made a mark on the history of all nations thanks to its assertion that all people are created equal, that governments derive their power from the consent of the govern, and that the people may alter or abolish a government that fails to respect their rights.”
The Ambassador said marking independence, the US has held high the hope that one day all people will experience the freedoms that Americans enjoy.
“And around the globe, we promote these core principles through consistent engagement with our partners and allies, including The Gambia.”
She went further to highlight what the government “can do” to keep The Gambia on the right beat, paying tribute to the many changes instituted by the new government.
“I hear the beat of justice in The Gambia. I hear the beat of peace and tolerance, the beat of respect for human rights, the beat of transparency and accountability in governance, the beat of prosperity for all. Most of all, I hear the beat of freedom in The Gambia and I hope you can hear it too.”
She also gave a highlight of the projects and activities that were made possible by the renewed friendship with Banjul and Washington.
“First and foremost, we have worked for many years to build democratic institutions, support good governance and advance human rights. It is clear that The Gambia has made impressive gains in these areas over the past year,” the ambassador said.
She assured her country’s continued work with both government agencies and civil society organisations in support of “even more progress.”
The event was interspersed with food and the unique American Jazz music, which was celebrated as this year’s theme.
The Ambassador and the vice president both later called on the convergence to join them in a toast to “freedom and prosperity in the New Gambia,” and to lasting stronger ties between the two countries.