For the second year in a row, I have the Fourth of July off.
Believe me, for a Foreign Service Officer, this is a big deal.
Most of my friends overseas will spend today in business suits, eating nasty finger foods, listening to some speeches, and entertaining their foreign contacts.
I don't miss that part.
They will also be given a thousand congratulations on our independence from those same contacts.
I DO miss that part.
So for this Fourth, hats off to all my friends and colleagues working in the service of this great country.
And to you, here is my vow:
If I am ever the Chief of Mission, while I know that we must have a reception on the Fourth, I promise you this.
There will be hamburgers and hot dogs. There will be ice cream. And if we can get it, there will be watermelon.
If we can manage, there will be some fireworks. And you will be able, if at all possible, to come in a little late the next day, so that you can spend some of the Fourth in your shorts and t-shirts, grilling with your family and friends, enjoying the freedoms we have as Americans.
And there will NOT/NOT be egg wrapped salmon as a finger food.