Consul General Virginia Blaser
Statement on Independence Day
July 4, 2020
Like many of our U.S. diplomatic Missions around the world, this year the U.S. Consulate General in Cape Town will not hold our annual Independence Day celebration out of strict adherence to COVID-19 infection control measures. Even as we chose to prioritize the safety of all over this annual celebration, it seems that this crisis makes it a particularly important time to celebrate our country, our partnerships, and our history.
As we have faced the heartbreaking realities of this pandemic impacting our friends and families, we have also seen the tremendous courage and care that comes from an enduring relationship. Right here in the Cape Provinces, we have seen U.S. companies partnering with local communities to bring much needed relief to those impacted by the virus. We have seen our The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program, built to combat HIV/AIDS, quickly shift resources to help with COVID-19 community screening and outreach. And, we have seen the people of the United States support South Africa through the generous donations of PPE, ventilators, and much, much more.
While we remain engaged in reducing the spread of COVID-19 at home and abroad, we are also keenly aware that our nation is facing important questions about the state of justice and equality within our own borders. It is an important moment to reflect upon the cornerstone principles upon which our nation was founded – that all people are created equal. This driving principle has inspired each of the movements that have expanded the reach of freedom and equality inside the United States – Abraham Lincoln turned to it to denounce slavery, women suffragists pointed to it in appealing for women’s rights, and Martin Luther King Jr. built his “I Have a Dream” speech upon this unifying tenant. We are confident that it will continue to inspire change and allow us to move forward in the right direction.
On this special day when we commemorate the birth of our great nation, our hope is that you will join us in spirit to celebrate and remember the connections that we have built and the good work that we have done together.