On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I send warm greetings to Queen Elizabeth II and all of our friends in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland as you celebrate Her Majesty’s Official Birthday on June 14.
The United States has a deep and abiding respect for Her Majesty’s extraordinary service to cause and country. We admire her dedication to duty, and we are forever grateful for her commitment to our special relationship.
For so many of us, the relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom isn’t just special. It’s personal. I’ll never forget my first visit to London as a child. Returning there on the very first stop of my very first trip as Secretary of State completed a circle that I never could have imagined drawing.
In the decades between then and now, what I’ve seen above all else is pretty simple: Our bond is bigger than one vote, one party, or one moment in history. It’s about shared values and a shared commitment to making this complicated world a little less complicated and a lot more free.
We are especially reminded of that legacy this year, which marks the centenary of the start of World War I and the 70th anniversary of D-Day. My father once took me to visit the beaches of Normandy, where the war could still be seen in the skeletons of Higgins boats in the dunes and the burned-out bunkers. It wasn’t until years later, walking those beaches after I’d been to war myself, that I came to more fully appreciate the incredible price of peace and liberty that our two Greatest Generations paid.
Her Majesty came of age in Great Britain’s own Greatest Generation. And today of all days, we remember that we are all heirs to their heroism. From the Western Front, to the beaches of Normandy, to Iraq and Afghanistan, at moments of maximum testing, the brave men and women of our nations have served and sacrificed together to advance the cause of freedom. Together, we are building a more peaceful and prosperous world. And there’s no better enterprise than that.
As you mark this special day, I extend heartfelt congratulations and best wishes to Her Majesty the Queen and the British people.