(January 18, 2021 / JNS) The U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, along with the United States Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad, held a special ceremony at the City of David on Monday in recognition of the “seminal role” the archeological site plays “in connecting its visitors to the origins of the values that helped shape America.”
“The archeological discoveries at the City of David bring biblical Jerusalem back to life and reaffirm the prophetic messages of freedom, justice and peace that inspired America’s founders,” read a statement released by the embassy.
U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and commission chairman Paul Packer dedicated a plaque in honor of the site.
“In modern America, we are inspired by many monuments that remind us of the history of our republic,” said Friedman at the ceremony. “I’ve often wondered what monuments inspired our Founding Fathers. When the drafters of the Declaration of Independence proclaimed that our Creator had endowed each and every American with certain unalienable rights, what monuments inspired them? I suggest that those monuments are located right here, in the ancient city of Jerusalem.”
Friedman said that he hoped that the plaque would prompt all those who read it to think of the Judeo-Christian values upon which America was founded and “how those values were inspired by ancient Jerusalem and its inhabitants.”
Friedman, the first sitting U.S. ambassador to tour the City of David, has since visited with numerous senior U.S. officials. On June 30, 2019, he participated with other American dignitaries in the City of David’s inauguration of the “Pilgrimage Road,” the path taken by millions of pilgrims ascending from the Pool of Siloam up to the Temple more than 2,000 years ago.
In his remarks, Packer commended the City of David for its contribution to America’s heritage, adding that with the ceremony, “we are fulfilling another, larger purpose: to unify Americans around our foundational principles and values. The City of David serves as a living testament to those enduring values, and it is our duty to ensure it remains for generations to come.”
The plaque reads in part: “As the prophet Isaiah said, ‘Out of Zion shall go forth the law and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.’ The spiritual bedrock of our values as a nation comes from Jerusalem. It is upon these ideals that the American Republic was founded, and the unbreakable bond between the United States and Israel was formed. The City of David serves as a proud reminder of the glorious heritage of the United States of America.”
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