By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
Back in 1776, John Adams, second president of the United States and co-drafter, along with Thomas Jefferson, of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, predicted that the momentous signing of that magna carta would be celebrated for generations to come “from this time forward forevermore.”
Indeed, 246 years later, Adams’ words ring as true today as they did nearly two and a half centuries ago, for the Declaration of Independence is also a proclamation of democratic values and respect for individual freedoms.
And nowhere is that celebration of the founding document of the United States so adamantly lauded as by American expats who, far from home, truly realize the significance and meaning of that founding document.
So it is in Mexico, with nearly 2 million U.S. citizens residing in the country, making it the largest demographic U.S. expat community in the world.
Thus, the American Society (Amsoc), which was founded in 1942 as an umbrella organization for various U.S. social and service groups throughout Mexico and to foster the bilateral friendship and understanding, has traditionally celebrated the Fourth of July with a giant community picnic, highlighting some of the United States’ most cherished traditions.
And while because of the covid-19 pandemic, Amsoc was unable to host its annual U.S. Independence Day festivities in 2020 and 2021, this year the organization, in cooperation with the American School Foundation (ASF) and the U.S. Embassy, more than made up for it with a gala celebration of all things American (and Mexican, as well) at the ASF campus in Observatorio on Saturday, July 2.
In addition to the usual hamburgers, Texas-style barbeque and tacos al pastor, there were plenty of sports activities, live music performances, more than 20 stands representing U.S. charitable associations in Mexico and a presentation of colors by the U.S. Marine Corps.
More than 1,000 people showed up for the daylong U.S. Independence Day Fair, which also included touch football competition sponsored by the NFL and a demonstration of lucha libre and professional boxing.
“This is a very important event for both the American Society and for the U.S. community in Mexico because it marks the 80th anniversary of Amsoc as well as the 200th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral U.S.-Mexico diplomatic relations,” said Amsoc President Larry Rubin at the time.
William Ostick of the U.S. Embassy added that these types of celebrations help for build bilateral cultural bridges that create an environment of mutual of trust and cooperation that, in turn, helps to strengthens not only the United States and Mexico, but the entire North American region.
“The American Society has always been an outreach organization, working to build the binational friendship and to serve as a liaison organization that lays the foundation for better bilateral understanding,” said Rubin.
“And this is one of our most important events of the year, so it is great that we could finally have a live Fourth of July celebration again this year.”