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2022 Independence Day Message to Readers of Easy Milano 

2022 Independence Day Message to Readers of Easy Milano 

Dear fellow Americans and Friends, 

Happy 4th of July! The United States’ Independence Day celebration is one of our country’s  most beloved. And though many of us are far from our home shores, if you’re like me, this day  reminds me of the many years of gathering with friends and family to grill hamburgers and hot  dogs, light sparklers, and maybe even launch some fireworks. Those memories have been  complemented by the many new and unique July 4th experiences I’ve had while living abroad  and proudly serving my country in the State Department’s Foreign Service. 

I imagine many of you, too, have discovered new ways to celebrate July 4th while living in Italy.  I would expect, as well, that those festivities have allowed you to revisit and retell the story of  our country’s founding. Because when you think about it, the unprecedented nature of our great  experiment in democracy is one of the most important things that defines us as a nation. It has,  throughout history, also served as a beacon of hope to others who aspired to a set of personal and  political freedoms founded on the principle that “all men are created equal, that they are  endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and  the pursuit of Happiness.” 

The America of 1776 is not the America of today, of course, and that is good. The realization of  a fully representative democracy that treats all people equally has been an ongoing effort, one  that continues to this day and one that will always continue. Democracy is not self-creating; it  doesn’t implement itself; and once in place it is not self-sustaining. That is our job as citizens.  We are the caretakers, curators, and creators of the laws and institutions necessary to ensure our  democracy thrives for all Americans at all times. 

Even here, in Milan and across northern Italy, the American community is a part of that project.  And I know you take pride in that fact, as do I, especially at a time when we are standing  together with Italy and our Allies and partners to confront Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine.  We are, as President Biden said, putting “the strength of democracies into action to thwart the  designs of autocracy.” 

As we reflect on our country’s birth and history at this unique moment in time, we should also  enjoy ourselves, perhaps even manage a BBQ with neighbors, raise a toast for how far we’ve come since we were 13 colonies struggling to find a path forward together.  

On behalf of the everyone at the U.S. Consulate General in Milan, I wish Americans and all our  friends in Milan and across northern Italy a wonderful July 4th

Robert S. Needham 

Consul General 

U.S. Consulate General Milan

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  1. United States Consulate General in Milan Celebrates the 4th of July | Easy Milano

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