President Obama sends warm wishes for Belgium's national holiday

President Barack Obama of the United States has sent King Filip a special message on the occasion of Belgium's national day. In the message that we reproduce here in full President Obama speaks of the values that Belgium and the US share that include free speech and civil society. The president also speaks of the challenges that the two countries have overcome together from the Great War, over the Second World War to today's challenges in Afghanistan.

President Obama’s letter to King Filip reads:

Your Majesty:

On behalf of the people of the United States, I am honored to offer my heartfelt congratulations to you and the people of Belgium as you celebrate your National Day this July 21.

Our two nations share a foundational commitment to free speech, free press, and a vibrant civil society. In the face of violent extremism that rejects the very fundamental basis of open societies, we stand together to support these ideals at home and around the world.

Together, Belgium and the United States have overcome the most daunting challenges. From World War I Ypres to modern-day Afghanistan, our men and women in uniform have given their lives for freedom. With this year's 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, we commemorated the extraordinary sacrifice of a generation fighting to defend our ideals. Let us continue to honor their memory as we partner to ensure peace and security in Europe and around the world.

In honor of our enduring alliance and friendship, I offer my warmest wishes to you and the Belgian people as you celebrate your National Day.

Sincerely,


Barack Obama