Remarks by His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America
At the Federation of Cypriot American Organizations
Annual Testimonial Dinner Honoring Dr. Kyriakos A. Athanasiou
Terrace on the Park
Queens, New York
September 23, 2022
Your Excellency President Anastasiades,
Esteemed Board of Directors of the Federation of Cypriot American Organizations,
Representatives of the many distinguished Chapters,
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Tonight, the Federation of Cypriot American Organizations gathers together in celebration of its solidarity as a community, and with the desire to honor a fellow countryman with its highest honor. You are bestowing the Lifetime Achievement Award upon the Distinguished Professor Kyriakos A. Athanasiou – holder of the Henry Samueli Chair in Engineering at the University of California Irvine, and member of both the National Academy of Inventors and the National Academy of Medicine.
You have honored my humble person as well, by inviting me to an Honorary Co-Chairmanship of this wonderful event, alongside His Excellency President Anastasiades. Indeed, being paired with the President of the Republic of Cyprus is an exceptional distinction, for which I am grateful to you all.
The beloved Cypriot community of the United States is part of the very core of Hellenism in the Diaspora. For generations you have exemplified what is best in the Omogeneia, and you have never forsaken, nor forgotten, your precious Island Nation.
All of us want justice for Cyprus. All of us want peace. And for this reason, we will never stop demanding for the Turkish troops to stop the illegal occupation of almost half of the island of Cyprus. We can never stop working until we achieve this result. Unity must prevail. Justice must prevail. And if these come to pass, then the bright future of Cyprus will be assured for many generations to come.
As much as Professor Athanasiou had dedicated his life to relieving the suffering of his fellow human beings, we must all re-dedicate our lives to relieving the suffering that has taken place in Cyprus once and for all.
Your recognition of Professor Athanasiou this evening is a reminder to the world of the talent, ingenuity and brilliance of the Hellenes of Cyprus. The length and breadth of Cypriot Civilization extends for thousands of years – even reaching to ten thousand.
All of you here tonight represent the best of the Cypriot Diaspora. Your hearts beat with Cyprus. The air you breathe on a daily basis is never without the fragrance of the land, sea and fair winds of Cyprus. While you have honored one of your own this evening, the honor truly belongs to all.
May the righteous cause of Cyprus attain justice soon, and may we all live to rejoice in one, unified and prosperous Cyprus.