Remarks at the Independence Day Reception

President Komšić, President Džaferovic, honored guests and dear friends, welcome.

Every July 4th, we celebrate the values that launched our nation.

As President Trump states in our National Security Strategy, “Liberty, free enterprise, equal justice under the law, and the dignity of every human life are central to who we are as a people.  We will never lose sight of our values and their capacity to inspire, uplift, and renew”

This year we also celebrate the 50th anniversary of man landing on the moon.  We celebrate the incredible achievement of a goal set by President John F. Kennedy.

In a speech at Rice University, my alma mater, he said, “We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills.”

JFK knew that an audacious goal would also inspire, uplift and renew.  And within eight years, 400,000 scientists, engineers and technicians rallied to put men on the moon.

Today’s horizon in space exploration is Mars.  The Mars Rover is due to land on our closest neighbor this time next year, in a crater that, in fact, is named after a town right here in BiH, Jezero.  And who’s to say what that feat will inspire future generations to achieve?  I invite you all to stroll our Science Fair today to get inspired by the young BiH scientists of tomorrow.

They are getting inspired in the American Corners and STEM classrooms we are equipping across BiH.  We are supporting science, technology, engineering and mathematics education to better prepare students and teachers for the future.

Today, BiH has its own audacious goal, which will not require space travel:   advancing to join NATO and the EU.

The United States supports that goal because, to paraphrase JFK, that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of your energies and your skills.

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s success depends not on what the international community can do.  It will depend – in JFK’s words – on “what you can do for your country.”

The United States stands ready to support you.  As our National Security Strategy states, “The United States offers partnership to those who share our aspirations for freedom and prosperity.”

Thank you all and enjoy!