Good evening and welcome, friends. I am delighted to be here to celebrate the 245th anniversary of the Independence of the United States of America and the 30th anniversary of the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and Albania. This performance of American music by Albanian musicians is a truly wonderful way to celebrate the special bond between our two nations.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the organizers and performers involved in this event celebrating American music: InnArt Association, the University of Arts, singers Vikena Kamenica and Kastriot Tusha, Artistic Director Isak Shehu, violinist Zeqir Sukuqi, and the Municipality of Tirana.
On July 4, 1776, our Founding Fathers started with a revolutionary idea – that government would respond to its people, who had unalienable rights of personal freedom. This idea became the basis of American democracy. In 1991, the Albanian people rejected communist dictatorship and started their own journey to democracy. The United States has stood by your side, krah per krah, since you started that journey.
Today, we stand here proudly – Americans and Albanians – in joint commitment to democracy and preservation of the freedoms and aspirations of 1776. In that spirit, I invite you to enjoy this wonderful concert tonight.