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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Global Greece: The USA Honours Greek Independence Day


The White House traditionally issues a Presidential Proclamation on 24 March each year to honour the day the Greek people rebelled against their 400 year occupation by the Ottoman Empire.


GREEK INDEPENDENCE DAY: A NATIONAL DAY OF CELEBRATION OF GREEK AND AMERICAN DEMOCRACY, 2010.
A PROCLAMATION
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Today, as we commemorate the 189th anniversary of Greece's independence, we reaffirm the ties that link our nations together as allies and warm friends. We also honor the accomplishments of Greek Americans and their immeasurable contributions to the United States.

It was the genius of America's forebears to enshrine the pre-eminent idea of democracy in our Nation's founding documents. Inspired by the governing values of ancient Greece, they launched the great American experiment. Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of our Declaration of Independence, later expressed his admiration for the Greeks and their heritage as they fought their War of Independence. Writing in 1823, he acknowledged Greece as "the first of civilized nations, [which] presented examples of what man should be."

The Hellenic influence on America's scholarly traditions reflects our Nation's high regard for Greece's lasting heritage. Our physicians uphold the timeless ethics of Hippocrates, and our students learn the mathematics of Euclid and Pythagoras. Our law schools use the Socratic Method, and the structures of ancient Greece have inspired many of our most cherished buildings and monuments.

Greek Americans have also shaped our Nation as leaders in every sector of American life, and their community has strengthened the fabric of our country with its vibrant culture and unique traditions. Above all, we were blessed to inherit the Hellenic ideal of democracy, which lives on today in Greece and America, and reinforces the enduring bonds between our two nations.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 25, 2010, as "Greek Independence Day: A National Day of Celebration of Greek and American Democracy." I call upon all the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fourth day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.

BARACK OBAMA



US President Obama and Greek PM George Papandreou during recent US Visit
Source: Official White House Photo - Pete Souza

The US Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, in her message to mark the occasion, said the following


Greek National Day



On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I congratulate the people of Greece as they mark the Hellenic Republic’s 189th National Day. This is an opportunity to honor Greece’s history and culture, which has contributed so much to our common humanity.

In the United States, millions of Greek-Americans will gather with family and friends to celebrate their Hellenic heritage. From the earliest days of our own republic, America has looked to Greece for inspiration and Greek-Americans have enriched our society and culture. From government and business to medicine and entertainment, Greek-Americans are leaders and innovators. They help cement the historic bonds that hold our two nations close.

As NATO allies, Greece and the United States work together on a wide range of common concerns. It is a partnership built on shared democratic values and aspirations.
This month, I had the honor of hosting Prime Minister Papandreou in Washington and offering my support for the resolve Greece has shown in these challenging times. And I was pleased that during his visit, we were able to welcome Greece into the Visa Waiver Program.

As we celebrate modern Greece’s independence, I offer my warmest wishes to Hellenes and Philhellenes around the globe. May you have a safe and happy holiday.

Hillary Clinton with George Papandreou

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