02:04:2008 - 04:04 EEST
Mar 27 2008
White House event for Greek Independence Day
Γράφει ο/η Θεόφιλος Δουμάνης   
Approximately 500 prominent members of the Greek-American community, headed by Archbishop Demetrios of America attended an event on Tuesday March 25th at the White House during an official event that is organized every year by the President of the United States commemorating Greek Independence Day. The Greek government was represented by Development Minister, Christos Folias while also in attendance were the Ambassadors of Greece and Cyprus, Alexandros Mallias and Andreas Kakouris.

U.S. President George W. Bush signed a proclamation on the occasion of the Greek Independence Day. President Bush’s proclamation, titled "Greek Independence Day: A National Day of Celebration of Greek and American Democracy, 2008", is as follows:

"On Greek Independence Day, we recognize the important contributions Greek Americans have made to our national character, celebrate the deep friendship between our two countries, and honor the anniversary of the Greek call for independence.

"The United States and Greece share a close relationship based on our common belief in the power of freedom. The ancient Athenians gave birth to the principles of democracy, and America's Founding Fathers were inspired by Greek ideals that honored and respected human dignity and rights. When the people of Greece claimed their independence in 1821, they had the strong support of the United States. Greek patriots risked their lives because they knew freedom and democracy were both their proud legacy and their ultimate destiny. Today, our nations remain allies in the cause of freedom and are working to lay the foundations of peace and spread the blessings of liberty around the world.

"In celebrating Greek Independence Day, we commemorate the heritage of freedom our countries hold dear, and we remember the Greek Americans whose strong spirit, resolve, and courage helped shape America.

"NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 25, 2008, as Greek Independence Day: A National Day of Celebration of Greek and American Democracy. I call upon all Americans to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities."

The House and the Senate last week unanimously passed H.Res. 1024 and S.Res. 476 to honor Greek Independence Day.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) sponsored H.Res. 1024 with 35 original co-sponsors.

Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) sponsored the Senate version, S.Res. 476. It was co-sponsored by 54 Senators, including Democratic Presidential Candidates Barack Obama (D-IL), and Hilary Clinton (D-NY).

“A steadfast ally and close friend of the United States, Greece has helped usher in a new era of stability and development in the Balkans,” said Ros-Lehtinen, Ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee in introducing the Resolution.

H.Res. 1024 extends warm congratulations and best wishes to the people of Greece as they celebrate the 187th anniversary of the independence of Greece. It also expresses support for the principles of democratic governance to which the people of Greece are committed; and notes the important role that Greece has played in Europe and in the community of nations since gaining its independence 187 years ago.

S.Res. 476 designates March 25, 2008, as Greek Independence Day: A National Day of Celebration of Greek and American Democracy; and encourages the people of the United States to observe the day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

The Senate and the House praised Greek Independence Day while the resolutions acknowledged Greece’s alliance with the US in every major war and its contributions to its neighbors and the world. 

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