President and PM attend Portugal Day celebrations at home and away

By Carrie-Marie Bratley, in News · 14-06-2018 13:47:00 · 0 Comments
President and PM attend Portugal Day celebrations at home and away

Portugal’s President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and Prime Minister António Costa were in the Azores this past weekend, where they made a whirlwind pit-stop to oversee Portugal Day commemorations, before continuing their journey to the US for the same purpose.

The President and PM were in the Azores on Sunday morning where they made official speeches ahead of the traditional Ceremonial Military Parade, which marks a highpoint in the annual Portugal Day celebrations.
Portugal’s armed forces finest and some serious equipment muscle including war ships, choppers and fighter jets were on display in the picturesque port town of Ponta Delgada, showing off their prowess by roaring through the skies above the parade.
A vast number of the country’s military men and women were dispatched by air and sea to the island of São Miguel to take part in the commemorative parade, which is held every year in different parts of the country.
Despite the hot weather, thousands of military personnel donned full regalia, many of them in camouflage, and marched rhythmically along Ponta Delgada’s port-side avenue to the delight of an enthusiastic crowd of locals and tourists.
Every year, Portugal Day celebrations are held following a ‘home and away’ format that sees a formal ceremony in Portugal followed by official events overseas, in countries with large Portuguese diasporas.

In 2016, commemorations were held in Lisbon and Paris; in 2017 in Porto and the Brazilian cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, and this year in the Azores (Ponta Delgada, São Miguel) and in the U.S.
It is estimated that some 1.4 million Portuguese nationals and luso-descendents live in the US, around 70 percent of who are believed to originate from the Azores.
Following their appearance in the Azores, the President and Prime Minister then hopped across the other half of the Atlantic to attend events in the U.S.
The Heads of State rounded-off Portugal Day commitments in the US by attending official events in Boston and Providence.
Speaking from ‘across the pond’, at the ‘Waterfire Festival’ in Providence, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said Portugal’s overseas communities are “promoters of union and peace”, while António Costa highlighted Portugal and the U.S’ “shared love” of democracy and freedom.
Contrary to the President, who has already returned to Portugal, the Prime Minister will be staying in the U.S. until the close of Portugal Day commemorations, this Saturday.
During his stay he will be visiting various cities in California, including San Jose, San Francisco and Sacramento, as well as New York, to tote a preeminent economic and scientific programme, as well as reinforce bilateral relations, business partnerships, and ties with local Portuguese populations.
Portugal Day, officially Day of Portugal, Camões, and the Portuguese Communities, is Portugal’s National Day celebrated annually on 10 June, which also commemorates the death of national literary icon Luís de Camões on 10 June 1580.


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