Remarks of His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon on the occasion of the presenting of the Greek Independence Day Proclamation by President Willian Jefferson Clinton
Mar 26, 1997
Archdiocese of America
8-10 East 79th Street
New York, NY 10021
The White House:
I take this opportunity, on the occasion of the Feast of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary and the 176th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence for the Greek Nation, to thank you for opening the doors of the White House to the Greek-American community. It is with a feeling of joy and thanksgiving that we meet with you, Mr. President, and assure you of the constant prayers of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America for you and your family.
As the patriots of the American and Greek revolutions offered their lives, fortunes and sacred honor for their belief in freedom and democracy, the Greek-American community today stands always ready to serve in every possible way the needs of our blessed country. May the spirits of 1776 and 1821 mingle together to inspire all of us to ever serve our nation with self-sacrifice and dignity.
Again, I thank you, Mr. President, and wish to you and the first family a blessed Easter filled with the grace and peace of the resurrected Lord Jesus.
Invited to join the ceremonies by President Clinton were White House staff members: Sylvia Mathews Deputy Chief of Staff; Victoria Radd, Chief of Staff to the Chief of Staff and Richard Socarides of the Public Liaison Office. His Eminence remarked on how proud the community was of all the Greek American appointments by the President and said:
&qout;As the patriots of the American and Greek revolutions offered their lives, fortunes and sacred honor for their belief in freedom and democracy, the Greek American community today stands always ready to serve in every possible the needs of our blessed country. May the spirits of 1776 and 1821 mingle together to inspire all of us to ever serve our nation with self sacrifice and dignity.&qout;
GREEK INDEPENDENCE DAY: A NATIONAL DAY OF CELEBRATION OF GREEK AND AMERICAN DEMOCRACY, 1997
By the President of the United States of America
Today, the Greek people and the Hellenic Republic will celebrate the 176th anniversary of the beginning of their struggle for independence.
On this day, it is fitting that we reflect on the enormous contributions the Greek people have made to the modern world. The legacy of the ancient Greeks in the fields of philosophy, literature, drama, sculpture, and architecture, continues to influence our beliefs, our values, and our concept of art. And, after more than 2,000 years, the ideology of Greece--as embodied in the concept of democracy--is still the ideal, that guides us in charting our course for the future.
Greek ideology had a profound effect on our Founding Fathers, who molded the American form of government based upon the principles of Greek democracy: Thomas Jefferson studied the Greek classics in his youth and was inspired by their philosophy throughout his life, most dramatically when he drafted the Declaration of Independence. When formulating his vision for this country, Jefferson specifically referred to the integrated assertions, theories, and aims of the classic Greek world.
Our admiration for Greece continues into the modern day, and we salute its commitment to democracy, to peace, and to a united and stable Europe. We share a partnership with Greece in NATO, and our countries are linked forever by close family relationships between our peoples. Our nation looks forward to working closely with Greece in the coming years as we examine ways to bring full peace, stability, and prosperity to all the nations of Europe and the world.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, 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, 1997, 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, activities, and programs.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fifth day of March, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-first.