US ambassador Randy Evans addresses guests at the embassy’s Independence Day celebration
Photo: LaLa La Photo
Newly arrived ambassador James Randolph Evans addressed the challenges of the 21st century, the trans-Atlantic relationship and identity as the US embassy in Luxembourg celebrated Independence Day.
Hundreds of guests enjoyed sunshine and US hospitality in the grounds of the US embassy on Thursday evening to mark the 242nd anniversary of America’s independence from British rule. Choirs from the International School of Luxembourg and the Lycée Aline Mayrisch sang the US and Luxembourg national anthems respectively before chargé d’affairs Kerri Hannan, who arrived in Luxembourg almost exactly one year ago, introduced new US ambassador James Randolph “Randy” Evans.
Referring to the delays since his initial nomination to the post last September, Evans said he was glad to have finally arrived in Luxembourg because “it took forever to get here.” He thanked ministers and fellow diplomats, who he said had treated him far better than he deserved. “They have kept me out of probably some embarrassing situations already,” he joked. The ambassador also said he was grateful to be accompanied by his wife Linda and nephew Max.
Referring to the standing of the United States in the world, Evans said he would be the first to admit that “we have stumbled, but we have never fallen.” He paid tribute to the fallen of the two world wars in the 20th century, and the sacrifices both Americans and Luxembourgers had made in the name of freedom.
Citing former president Ronald Reagan’s speech in 1984 to mark the 40th anniversary of the D-Day landings, Evans said that “isolationism never was, and never will be, an acceptable response to tyrannical governments with expansionist intent.” The ambassador said he found it “odd” that some people think the US believed multilaterism had no place in the international scene. “I’m here today to tell you that nothing could be further from the truth.” The United States’ commitment to Nato and other core international institutions and to the trans-Atlantic relationship is unwavering.
But, Evans also argued that new ideas and a fresh way of thinking was required to tackle contemporary global challenges. He said the world should stop looking for solutions to 21st century problems through the prism of the old millennium. “Expect imaginative, untried solutions, ideas that have not yet been perfected but that may lead to or yield unexpected results.”
The ambassador concluded by saying that he chose Luxembourg out of all the places in the world because he saw a multinational country that somehow always found a consensus and the resolve to remain who they were. “We must retain our identity, keep our values and protect each other.”