By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Christopher Landau hosted a moving and upbeat online Fourth of July celebration on Saturday, July 4, for US. expats and Mexicans.
Because the embassy’s traditional Independence Day bash was canceled due to the mounting covid-19 pandemic, Landau instead opened his home to the U.S. community and friends of the United States in Mexico with a 25-minute virtual celebration that included cameo appearances from rocker Gene Simmons of Kiss, pop artist Brian Littrell from the Backstreet Boys, electric guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, vocalists Kazual, rapper Mike Shinoda from Linkin Park, Mexican pop rocker Fher Olvera from Grupo Maná, Indie folk singers T Sisters, international singing sensation Sheena Easton, violinist Joshua Bell, electronic music artist Todd Clouser of A Love Electric, pianist David Lanz, guitarist Gary Lucas and DJ Steve Aoki.
Also appearing in the video were pop musicians Jesse & Joy and operatic soprano Denis Vélez, who sang both the Star-Spangled Banner and the Mexican national anthem.
In a brief but powerful welcome speech, Landau spoke about the history and significance of the anniversary of U.S. independence, making specific reference to the U.S. Constitution and its defining of the inalienable rights of all to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
He pointed out that this document, which has been the foundation of the United States’ political history for more than 233 years, also inspired people in France, Mexico and other parts of the world to rise up against repression and to declare their own independence.
Later, Landau recalled an inspiring story about his own family history and how his father, a Jewish immigrant from Austria, came to the United States via Columbia to escape Nazi oppression and eventually to become a U.S. ambassador.
Notably, there were no mentions of the newly implemented United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) nor direct references to Mexican politics or U.S.-Mexico relations in Landau’s speech.
Landau also did not talk about the covid-19 pandemic nor the upcoming U.S. elections.
In the second segment of his U.S. Independence Day presentation, Landau spoke about the significance and history of traditional Fourth of July food, specifically hamburgers and apple pie.
…July 4, 2020