On the Occasion of the Republic of Sierra Leone's National Day

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
April 27, 2015

On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I congratulate the people of Sierra Leone as you celebrate 54 years of independence on April 27.

Sierra Leone has traveled many miles since civil war gripped your nation. Gone are the days when Sierra Leoneans fled the violence in the streets, traveling as far as my home state of Massachusetts seeking refuge. Today, your nation is living up to the values and promise of independence. As President John Kennedy wrote on your first day of independence, “our two countries will stand as one in safeguarding the greatest of all bonds between us, our common belief in a free and democratic way of life.”

Today, the United States and Sierra Leone are standing together. We have forged a partnership based on our shared commitment to peace, good governance, the rule of law, human rights, and shared prosperity. We remain committed to working with your government to uphold, strengthen, and promote these values for the benefit of all Sierra Leoneans.

Ebola remains a grave threat to your peace and prosperity. That is why we are coming together to defeat this scourge with courage, perseverance, and above all, unity. Many innocent lives have been lost, but I know that you will persevere and rebuild. The United States will continue to support you. And together we will forge a brighter future for all.

On behalf of the people of the United States, I congratulate all Sierra Leoneans on this historic occasion. May the year ahead bring peace and prosperity to all your people.