This week my thoughts are with the people of Thailand as we witness the cremation of His Late Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej – a true humanitarian, visionary, and friend to the United States.
Next year we will celebrate the bicentennial of the first official contact between our two great nations. His Late Majesty championed our strong, enduring friendship throughout his reign. His commitment to our alliance helped ensure regional security and created the conditions for Thailand’s miraculous economic development.
As I expressed during my recent visit to Bangkok, I join Americans throughout the United States in extending our deepest respect to His Late Majesty. From communities along the Pacific in California to those marking this occasion at King Bhumibol Square near the Late King’s birthplace in Massachusetts, we remember a leader who shaped the course of history and strengthened the bonds of friendship that unite us.
Building on His Late Majesty’s legacy, I am confident this alliance will thrive in a new century, to the continued benefit of the Thai and American people.