Happy 425th Birthday John Winthrop

My ten-times Great Grandfather John Winthrop was born in England on this day in 1588. Having entered the world soon after the new year, he built his life around new beginnings. He became the founder of Boston, my hometown, and first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

In 1630, he left behind his life in Suffolk, to lead 700 men and women across the Atlantic to New England so they could build a new life. In the midst of that journey he delivered a sermon whose words have inspired Americans ever since. Echoing the Sermon on the Mount, Winthrop said,

“We must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill, the eyes of all people are upon us.”

Quoted by Presidents Kennedy, Reagan, and countless others, these words express an ideal that has become part of America’s DNA. But it is fitting that the sermon was delivered while traveling between England and America, because they also describe the hopes and expectations held by so many around the world for the U.S.-UK relationship: “The eyes of all people are upon us.”

Here at the embassy we take great pride and responsibility in that fact, and we look forward to helping the special relationship live up to its example for yet another year.