Bill Clinton photo

Remarks at the Concert of the Americas in Miami

December 10, 1994

Thank you. Thank you, Michael, my fellow leaders of the Americas and their families, and to all of our distinguished guests tonight. I know you all join me in a heartfelt thanks to David Salzman and to our friend Quincy Jones and all the wonderful entertainers from all over our hemisphere who made us so wonderfully happy tonight.

We are gathered tonight as a family of nations, each with cultures that are unique and yet familiar to all of us. The arts help us to appreciate and to gain a deeper understanding of our hemispheric heritages, as well as the ideas, the voices, the images that we share as members of the larger American family.

We all know that art strengthens the bonds among us. Our nations grow ever closer as we delve into the souls of our culture through our artists: the soaring voice of a Placido Domingo, the rich performances of the wonderful, late Raul Julia, the magical words of Nobel Prize winner Derrick Wolcott, and the many artists who are performing for us tonight.

The poet Pablo Neruda, on receiving the Nobel Prize for literature, spoke of moving toward the splendid city. He reminded us that as we build a better world, the two guiding stars of our journey are struggle and hope. "Do not forget," he said, "on the way to the splendid city, there should be no such thing as a lone struggle and no such thing as a solitary hope."

Neighbor with neighbor, we have gathered here tonight in that spirit, to share our gifts, to contemplate our common destiny, to celebrate not only who we are but the joyous possibilities of what this splendid community of democracies can yet become.

Thank you very much.

NOTE: The President spoke at 9:43 p.m. at the James L. Knight Center. In his remarks, he referred to actor Michael Douglas, television producer David Salzman, and musician Quincy Jones, who served as master of ceremonies.

William J. Clinton, Remarks at the Concert of the Americas in Miami Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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