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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Celebrating the 4th of July on the 29th of June

The U.S. Embassy held their Independence Day celebration yesterday as the 4th of July is on a Sunday this year. It is always such an honor to be invited and this year was the best party ever! This was the first year that Ambassador Matthew Barzun has been in office and he outdid himself by offering a charming and lovely afternoon to his guests. He also gave a great speech, partly in Swedish (which was very impressive and well done) in which he said that while we celebrate our independence, we also lift up our dependence on others as a way to create the best way of life for all. He also said that from whom we are celebrating our independence and why are topics left for another day and that all parties are close friends and allies 234 years down the road! It was very nice. Ala Michelle Obama, he planted an herb garden in the backyard of the embassy, the fruit of which will be used in the new American style Diner he is creating in the embassy. I even got to plant a couple of the plants! Finally, we might have a chance for a wonderful burger here in town! He made a cute joke once again by asking the British Ambassador to plant the thyme, as a symbol that time heals all wounds! It was a nice touch.
Seeing the American flag brought in by the Marine Color guard and listening to the National Anthem being sung by the Los Angeles Children's Choir, who just happened to be in town for this celebration, was a taste of home that I appreciated. Tents were set up adorned in the colors of the flag and various sorts of hot dogs, Pringles potato chips, Ben and Jerry's ice cream, cup cakes and quesadillas were on offer! Gallo wine and Sam Adams beer completed the taste treats and the park-like atmosphere of the back side of the embassy grounds created the perfect setting for a 4th of July picnic.
I didn't realize you would be able to bring cameras in so I didn't bring mine. Sorry. It was a delightful afternoon. We enjoyed conversations with several diplomats, many members of our church community and other various people who we run into now and again at these celebrations.
It's fun to feel the sense of America once in awhile especially since Sunday will be just another summer day here in Sweden.
Thank you Ambassador Barzun and all the staff at the US Embassy for making this a memorable and beautiful celebration of our country's national Independence Day holiday!