July 5, 2018
(As prepared for delivery)
Buonasera e benvenuti a Villa Taverna! Vi ringraziamo per essere qui a celebrare con noi il duecentoquarantaduesimo (242) anniversario dell’indipendenza degli Stati Uniti d’America.
Oggi ricordiamo l’anniversario della firma della Dichiarazione d’Indipendenza, che ha sancito la libertà come principio fondamentale degli Stati Uniti.
As President Ronald Reagan wrote, “freedom is the most important thing to a true American.”
And our freedom can only survive with a strong Democracy and the support of our treasured allies like Italy.
It is our shared beliefs in freedom and democracy that make the foundation and the unshakable bond that unites Italy and America.
We have a shared history, culture, and values.
America’s love for Italy was shared by the author of the Declaration of Independence and our third President Thomas Jefferson. He visited Italy and brought back Palladian architecture, a macaroni machine from Naples, and Montepulciano wine. And Jefferson’s maps of Milan and Turin were consulted in the design of Washington DC.
And, President Abraham Lincoln recognized a unified Italy in 1861.
Since America’s founding we have been bonded to Italy.
Today as we celebrate America’s independence, it is important again to remember that our faith in democracy and support from our allies is fundamental in ensuring precious freedom for future generations.
We cannot take these values for granted. America and Italy fought for them and died for them. They can be taken from us too easily unless we stand together, strong and united in our belief that our democratic way of life – built on freedom, liberty, and tolerance — is worth preserving.
Thank you for joining us tonight. Grazie mille, amici. God bless Italy and God bless America!