Since then, the World Heritage Convention has been the most widely accepted international conservation treaty in history. In the United States alone, over twenty landmarks have been added to the World Heritage List, inspiring people from everywhere to think themselves about what is worth saving and preserving right where they live.
I have had the honor of visiting many of these sights and the opportunities to meet those who have dedicated their lives to this important project of preservation. As we celebrate this 40th anniversary, let us pay tribute to those who have worked to preserve and protect sites in the United States and across the world. And let us renew our commitment to the next 40 years so that future generations have also the opportunity and the challenge to experience the places that reflect our unique heritage, and to help tell the story of the ties that bind us all together. This is an extraodinary committment to the past, the present and the future. Let's work together to make it even better in the decades ahead.
Thank you very much.