Photo: Spanish Flag
Today all of Spain is celebrating its national holiday ‘La Fiesta Nacional de España,’ commemorating when explorer Christopher Columbus first set foot on the Americas in 1492. Specifically it honors the day of October 12, 1492 when Columbus set foot in what is now known as the Bahamas, he had been at sea since August 2nd on an expedition funded by the Spanish Crown.
The day also celebrates Spain’s connection to the global Hispanic community. In 1981, Spain via royal decree established this day as ‘Dia de la Hispanidad.’
This public holiday starts with the raising of the flag in Madrid by King Juan Carlos and other members of the Royal Family. There is a military parade and air show where many people turn out, it is a day off for most people.
The President and Secretary of State John Kerry sent the following congratulatory message to the people of Spain:
I have personal, vivid memories of traveling to Spain as a young man, and I remember a bull charging behind me in Pamplona. As our bilateral relationship has grown stronger over the years, I’d like to think that some of us have also grown wiser.
The United States and Spain have built a strong friendship over a long and shared history. Our troops have stood shoulder to shoulder in Afghanistan as NATO allies, and our ships are currently conducting anti-piracy operations together. We are working to promote democracy, enhance international peace and security, and promote shared economic prosperity that benefits us all.
Our bilateral trade relationship continues to thrive, giving both of our economies a needed boost. Spain is one of the fastest-growing investors in the United States, and American companies employ thousands of Spaniards. These ties will only grow deeper as we move forward with the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.
Our alliance is also strengthened by the warm friendship between the people of our two countries. The United States is a country with deep Hispanic roots. Spanish art, literature, and music have enriched American culture beyond measure. These shared riches unite us as we look to the opportunities of the future.
As you observe La Fiesta Nacional de España, the United States celebrates with you as a close friend and steadfast ally.