About the Author: Jennifer Vitela serves as Assistant Information Officer at U.S. Embassy Kabul.
On July 3, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul celebrated the Fourth of July with a formal reception on the embassy compound awash in red, white, and blue. More than 1,000 Afghan, international, and American guests attended the celebration which also marked the first joint public appearance of the leaders of our civilian military partnership in Afghanistan -- Ambassador Karl W. Eikenberry and General David H. Petraeus.
Ambassador Eikenberry and General Petraeus both addressed the crowd and spoke about working together to build peace in Afghanistan. They were followed by remarks from Afghan Foreign Minister Dr. Zalmai Rasool who thanked the United States for its assistance in Afghanistan.
During his speech, Ambassador Eikenberry highlighted the United States' long-term commitment to Afghanistan and stressed that, although Afghanistan continues to face difficult challenges, it will do so with the support of the United States and its partners from around the world. Ambassador Eikenberry said, "Today, we salute the friendship and solidarity between our people, and we celebrate our common purpose. And we remember the sacrifice of the many soldiers and civilians of the United States, international community, and Afghanistan who have served in pursuit of the common purpose."
After the ceremony, guests milled about enjoying ice cream, hamburgers, soft drinks, and other Fourth of July favorites. A photo exhibition titled "Picturing America" was on display for the guests. The "Picturing America" touring exhibition promotes some of America's most significant art images to strengthen understanding of America's history and founding principles. Also on display was various exhibits about successful development initiatives being implemented throughout the country.
The 101st Airborne Division "Dixieland Band" played a variety of music from jazz to contemporary and the embassy band performed American classics.
Related Entry: Secretary Clinton Delivers U.S. Independence Day Message