John F. Kennedy photo

Message to the Government and People of Sierra Leone on the Occasion of Their Independence.

April 26, 1961

ON THE OCCASION of their independence, I wish to extend to the Government and people of Sierra Leone the heartiest congratulations and warmest wishes of the people of the United States.

We in the United States have watched with sympathy and admiration the progress of the people of Sierra. Leone toward this historic and welcome event, which is the result of fruitful cooperation between the people of Sierra Leone and the Government and people of the United Kingdom. We are confident that this spirit of cooperation will inspire Sierra Leone's future relationships with all who hold freedom dear.

In expressing the best wishes of my country, I speak for a people who cherish individual liberty and independence, and who have made great sacrifices so that these vital principles might endure. It is with special pleasure, therefore, that we witness the assumption by this new nation of its sovereign place in the world community.

I am keenly conscious of the friendship which has marked the relations of our two countries, and, for the future, all Americans stand ready to work with the people of Sierra Leone to reach the goals we all share of health, enlightenment and material wellbeing. I am confident that in years to come our two countries will stand as one in safeguarding the greatest of all bonds between us, our common belief in a free and democratic way of life.

John F. Kennedy, Message to the Government and People of Sierra Leone on the Occasion of Their Independence. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/234747

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