On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Belgium on your National Day and King Philippe on the first anniversary of his reign on July 21.
During my visit to Brussels last December, I had the opportunity to walk through the Grand Place and reflect on our two countries' shared history. Our bond was made strong by the Commission for Relief in Belgium during the Great War and Allied efforts to defeat fascism in World War II. And it continues to grow today with our current work to promote security, prosperity, and human rights around the globe.
We commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge this year as well. We remember the thousands of U.S. troops who, along with the support of so many brave Belgians, showed remarkable grit and determination in liberating Europe from tyranny.
Seven decades later, their service and sacrifice continues to inspire us as we carry on their work. And as the capital of Europe and host to NATO, Belgium is at the heart of efforts to build a 21st century Europe that is whole, free, and at peace.
Even though Belgium beat our beloved U.S. team during the World Cup, our countries remain great friends and inseparable allies. Each time I visit your country, I am astounded by your hospitality and grateful for our partnership.
On behalf of the American people, I send best wishes for a joyous 184th National Day.