On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to send best wishes to each of you as you celebrate your national day this July 14. Since the founding of our democracy, France has been a dedicated and enduring partner to the American people.
A lifelong scholar of French philosophy, Thomas Jefferson authored our Declaration of Independence drawing largely on ideas expressed by Montesquieu, Voltaire, and Diderot. Following the formation of our American government, Jefferson concluded in 1791, “I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.”
Creating and sustaining a representative government is never easy, but the United States and the world have drawn inspiration from the French Republic for more than two centuries. Founded on shared ideals of liberty and equality and strengthened through the sufferings and triumphs of two world wars, this relationship is a powerful example to the world. Please accept my heartfelt congratulations on this special day.