On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to send best wishes to the people of Italy as you celebrate your national day this June 2. I send my deepest condolences to the family and friends of those who lost their lives in Tuesday’s earthquake. The United States stands by the Italian people as you rebuild and recover.
As we look forward to 2013 as the Year of Italian Culture in the United States, we reflect on the history and shared values that have bound our nations and peoples over the centuries. Americans have long been drawn to Italy to marvel at the art, admire the antiquities, and rediscover their heritage. For years, Italian-Americans have enriched and enlivened American culture in ways large and small. Our two countries are working together for the future peace and prosperity of our world. As you celebrate this special day with the warmth of good food, family, and friends, know that the United States stands with you.