Innovation has been a vital part of the American experience since the founding of our nation. In fact, you might say the ideals enshrined in the Declaration of Independence are among the first and most important innovations in our history -- the announcement of an audacious experiment in representative government at a time of kingdoms and principalities.
President Obama made innovation a key theme of his visit to Latin America in March. The new partnerships he announced in science and lab-to-market research will help to accomplish his vision of shared prosperity throughout the hemisphere. As U.S. Ambassador Anne Slaughter Andrew has traveled throughout Costa Rica, she has also seen how innovation is powering this country's growth toward developed nation status. For all these reasons, the Ambassador chose "A Salute to American Innovation" as the theme of our Independence Day celebration for 2011.
Visitors waiting to greet the Ambassador at our Independence Day reception saw a widescreen presentation of videos depicting the innovations that U.S. companies are developing in Costa Rica. Three movie screens told the story of American invention from Benjamin Franklin's bifocals to the Hubble telescope. The Ambassador delivered her remarks from her iPad supported by a backdrop of images highlighting the embassy's innovative programs in renewable energy and environmental conservation, education, citizen security, and the economic empowerment of women.
Most important, for the first time we shared our entire event with the world via Livestream. Taking a page from popular Hollywood award shows, we interspersed visuals from our photo and video presentations with interviews of guests, Fourth of July trivia, and coverage of the formal ceremony. All the while, virtual guests were sending in questions and remarks through the chat room and receiving real-time replies. To see our most innovative Independence Day celebration yet, along with other streaming clips from U.S. Embassy San Jose, tune into www.livestream.com/usembassy.