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Happy Birthday, USA!

July 11, 2011

The Paraguayan military band added to the festive spirit and the feeling of international cooperation.

Independence Day in the U.S. is typically celebrated at the beach or in the park with barbecues and picnics. But this year, while visiting my son and his family, I celebrated by visiting the U.S. embassy in Paraguay. It’s winter right now in Paraguay, so the temperature was a brisk 55 degrees, but sunny and cheerful. A crowd of about thirty visiting citizens gathered with personnel from the consulate to sing the National Anthem and salute the colors when the flag was raised. U.S. Ambassador Liliana Ayalde read a letter from Secretary of State Hilary Clinton praising those who serve our country while abroad.

The Marines raise the U.S. flag during the Independence Day event.

Then, one of the soldiers followed tradition by reading from the Declaration of Independence. Hearing the words of this amazing document while standing in a foreign land made the freedoms and rights we enjoy in the U.S. feel more precious than ever. The ceremony was brief, but powerful. When it was done we enjoyed meeting the ambassador, making friends with the other visitors, and partaking of delicious treats: hot chocolate, coffee, and fresh-baked breads and cookies.

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