On the Occasion of Switzerland's National Day

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
July 31, 2013

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States of America, I congratulate the people of Switzerland on your National Day this August 1, which marks the 722nd anniversary of Switzerland’s Federal Charter.

We are proud of our heritage as “Sister Republics.” America’s Founding Fathers were inspired by the Swiss example of direct democracy and federalism, and the Swiss Constitution of 1848 is modeled on America’s Constitution of 1787.

I am especially proud of my personal connection to Switzerland dating back to my days as a student near Zurich while my father was stationed overseas as a Foreign Service officer. The peaceful countryside and welcoming manner of Switzerland’s people meant the world to a homesick young American struggling to learn new languages and adapt to new surroundings.

Today our countries enjoy a friendship based on a shared commitment to democratic principles, republican government, and the rule of law. The United States and Switzerland work together to support democracy, promote respect for universal human rights, and provide humanitarian relief and economic development assistance to countries around the world.

The United States is grateful to have a strong friend in Switzerland. We look forward to continuing our partnership as we advance common goals.

PRN: 2013/0949