Talmannens anförande vid firande av USA:s nationaldag

Publicerad: 18 juni 2019 klockan 17.34

Talman Andreas Norlén deltog med ett tal den 18 juni när den amerikanska ambassaden höll mottagning för att fira den amerikanska nationaldagen och för att uppmärksamma 50-årsjubileet av Apollo 11:s månlandning 1969.

Talmannen talade om vikten av hårt arbete, mod och vision för att lyckas med svåra uppgifter - som månlandningen men också som den svenska demokratins genombrott för hundra år sedan. Hela talet kan läsas på engelska.

Talmannens anförande

Chargé D´Affairs Tremont,
Your Excellencies,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Thank you for inviting me to speak on this occasion when you are celebrating not only your Independence Day but also one of mankind´s most spectacular achievements.

The moon has always been a subject of our dreams, mythology, literature and longing. In the beautiful words of Emily Dickinson:

The moon was but a chin of gold
A night or two ago,
And now she turns her perfect face
Upon the world below

Yes, we have been standing below the moon, with our faces turned upwards, since the beginning of time. But since July 20 1969, there have also been men gazing down from the face of the moon.

The moon landing has become a historical landmark. Looking in the rear mirror we can see how it succeeded due to a visionary but pragmatic leadership combined with a joint effort by the many. It was a victory of brave astronauts, of a nation and of its people.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Sweden and the United States stand firmly on a long tradition of friendship and exchange between our countries and between our peoples. We have so much in common, even though your country is slightly bigger, and we have yet to put a Swede on the moon.

Defence, culture, science and innovation are examples of components in a relationship built on a variety of shared interests. President Coolidge once said that “the business of America is business”. Sometimes I paraphrase those words in a Swedish context by saying “the trademark of Sweden is trade”.

Business and trade are interdependent and so are we as partners. Just to mention one example: Swedish companies contribute to the US economy with substantial sums of direct investment and up to one million jobs including subcontractors - and of course, American companies create jobs in Sweden.

Furthermore, we share common values such as equality and freedom, famously outlined in the Declaration of Independence. We also share qualities such as the courage to always take yet another step further.

Such as the courage of the 1.2 million Swedes who migrated to the US more than 100 years ago. They set out on a difficult journey into the unknown, searching for a better future.

Such as the courage of men and women setting out for journeys in space, into the unknown, searching for knowledge and pushing the limits of our capabilities a little bit further, every time.

I would like to express my hope that our shared values and interests and our cooperation will continue to unite us during years to come – and that this will manifest itself in many ways, such as increased trade and direct investment as well as efforts to protect and strengthen democracy around the world.

There might be a world in unrest around us and there may be difficulties ahead. But as the astronauts in 1969, also a challenging time, demonstrated to the world – even hard tasks can be accomplished. I believe that we stand a better chance on the journey into the unknown future if we embark on it together.

I am honored to be celebrating Independence Day together with you today.

Two weeks ago, I delivered the ceremonial speech on our National Day. I talked about the importance of democracy, as we are celebrating and commemorating 100 years of Swedish democracy between 2018 and 2022.

The Parliament´s first decision on December 17, 1918 to introduce universal and equal suffrage is regarded as a milestone in the history of Swedish democracy and marked the starting point of our jubilee of the date 100 years later.

Democracy is a cornerstone in both our societies – another thing we have in common.

Your constitution is the oldest constitution in the world still in force. It has been the role model for many national constitutions around the world. This demonstrates how the foresight of your founding fathers still plays an important role today.

I believe it is important to celebrate what has been achieved in the past, in order to gain inspiration and ideas to prepare us for future challenges.

I imagine that universal and equal suffrage for men and women often must have seemed like an impossible goal for those who were striving for democracy 100 years ago.

Similarly, the idea of travelling roughly 400 000 kilometer through space and taking a walk on the moon, must have been regarded as an impossible feat.

What unite these two great achievements is that they turned out to be just the contrary - these endeavors succeeded. They did so thanks to courage, vision, pragmatism and hard work - a joint effort overcoming breaches and bringing people and nations together.

I see the Apollo 11 moon landing as a reflection of our common dreams and of our common desire for further explorations and development. May this guide our two countries in the future as well.

Happy Independence Day!

Thank you.