This weekend, as I am sure many of you know, is the time when Americans celebrate our independence. And I am so pleased that I could end my trip here in Georgia, a country that has had an extraordinary history going back hundreds of years and, more
particularly, during the last 20 years. I believe that the potential of this country to serve as a beacon and model for democracy and progress is extraordinary. And, for me, it is in large measure rooted in the day-to-day changes that have occurred here in Georgia. Before the Rose Revolution, Georgia was on the brink of being a failed state. Since then, Georgians, and particularly Georgian women, answered the call of history. You seized your moment. You worked to strengthen democratic institutions and civil society to combat corruption and re-establish the rule of law, and to lay the foundation for a better future. But we both know that Georgia faces some dramatic challenges. You live with the realities of an invasion, and an ongoing occupation. You are trying to promote a recovery in Georgia's economy, working to improve vital services like health care and education.