France's National Day

Press Statement
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
July 13, 2010

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of France as you celebrate La Fête Nationale on July 14. The bonds between our nations are centuries old. French explorers and pioneers helped map and build America. France provided crucial assistance to the young United States during our Revolutionary War, and the famous friendship between the Marquis de Lafayette and General George Washington cemented our partnership. French writers, thinkers, and artists have had a profound impact on America’s cultural development. And the Statue of Liberty, a gift from France and an enduring symbol of our common values and aspirations, has become a national treasure and an inspiration to people seeking freedom everywhere.

The United States and France have stood side by side and championed universal human rights and democratic principles. We were allies in the First and Second World Wars, and we promoted post-war stability and European unity together through the Marshall Plan. Today, we continue to promote peace and progress as partners in NATO, the UN, and other international organizations. From preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and countering violent extremism to tackling humanitarian issues and combating climate change, the United States and France are working together to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

In honor of this Bastille Day, I send warmest wishes to the people of France. May you continue to inspire the world with your efforts to build a brighter future for us all.

PRN: 2010/929