US President Joseph Biden Sunday hosted a party at the White House marking the 245th Anniversary of his country's Declaration of Independence.
“We’re closer than ever to declaring our independence from a deadly virus,” Biden said during his speech as he encouraged the unvaccinated crowds to get the anticoronavirus immunizers. “My fellow Americans – it's the most patriotic thing you can do,” he underlined.
The President was confident ”America is coming back together,” he told his guests at the White House, among whom were essential workers who helped with the response to the covid-19 pandemic as well as military families.
The administration had set a goal of having 70% of American adults vaccinated by the holiday. The nation got close: about 67% have had at least one shot.
Sunday also marked one of the first times that fencing, which had been erected around the White House during the anti-police violence protests in 2020 and in the wake of the January 6th assault on the Capitol, was removed. Visitors can now walk up to the North Lawn fence in front of the White House.
Though the event is the largest since Biden took office in January, the crowds are much smaller than White House Independence Day events in previous years.
Biden also insisted “the virus has not been vanquished; but it no longer controls our lives, and no longer paralyzes our nation,” he pointed out in reference to the 160 million people fully vaccinated.
“Today we celebrate America. Freedom, our liberty, our independence. The Fourth of July, today of history, hope, remembrance and resolve with promise and possibilities. Before me stands monuments of the greatest and the goodness of our nation - monuments of light and liberty,” the President said.
Biden also underlined that “this year, the Fourth of July, is a special celebration for we are emerging from the darkness of a year of pandemic and isolation, a year of pain, fear and heartbreaking loss.”
“Think about how far we've come. From silent streets to crowded parade routes with eople waving the American flag. From empty stadiums and arenas to fans back in their seats, cheering together again. From families, pressing hands against windows, to grandparents hugging their children once again. We're back traveling again. We're back seeing each other again. Businesses are opening entirely. We're seeing record job creation, and record economic growth, the best in four decades, and I might add, the best in the world.”
Regarding the declaration of 1776, Biden said it “was a call to action” and that “back then we had the power of an idea on our side, today the power of science.”
“We never again want to be where we were a year ago today,” he went on. “We also remember all those who lost this year, families that have lost to other causes of death and cruel twists of fate. They too left behind loved ones unable to grieve, mourn, closure. Those of you who have been through all this, you have to remember. We commit to always remember them.”
Biden insisted that “ogether we are beating the virus. Together we are breathing life into our economy. Together we will rescue our people from division and despair. But together we must do it. Over the past year, we have lived through some of our darkest days. Now I truly believe, we're about to see our brightest future. Folks, this is a special nation, a great nation, no matter your race or ethnicity or gender or faith.”
“We just need to remember who we are. We are the United States of America. There is nothing, nothing we can't do if we do it together. Happy Fourth of July America. God bless you all. May God protect our troops,” Biden rounded up his message amid fireworks in a joyful mood, albeit in a less crowded setting than in previous years.