Ambassador Berry’s Remarks for the Fourth of July, Canberra

We are gathered here to celebrate not only the birth of a nation, but more importantly, the birth of an idea: that all people are created equal, and that every individual is endowed with God-given freedoms and rights.

This idea finds its metaphor in the Tree of Liberty, which our history proves only grows in one direction, by adding rings and rights with each passing generation. The tree’s life blood is freedom. It is nurtured with bravery, strengthened with devotion, and watered with the tears and blood of generations.

It has withstood the fearsome winds and storms of secession, fascism, and communism. The seeds of this tree have sprouted in countless nations and hearts encircling the globe. And the ideals it represents have advanced progress, peace, and prosperity for millions.

There will always be those who will seek to undermine or topple this living monument – and we pray they will always be confounded and defeated by those of us willing to defend the freedom and liberty it represents.

Our thanks to the men and women serving today in both Australia and the United States – who are the proud tip of our spear in the defense of those freedoms. For 239 years, the United States has been dedicated to advancing these principles, moving persistently forward. Towards an ever more perfect union at home – and towards a better world for all – with the help of our allies and friends.

We have no greater friend than Australia in this marvelous struggle – and America is grateful to have you shoulder to shoulder with us every step of the way.

Side by side in Afghanistan.

Side by side in Iraq.

Side by side in every military engagement since World War I.

Long may this Alliance last.

May God bless our men and women in uniform and all who serve, and long may God continue to bless Australia and the United States of America.