Andrew A. Athens, the former WWII veteran, steel magnate, President of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE), National Chairman of the United Hellenic American Committee (UHAC) and founder and President of Hellenicare, said that Ed Derwinski was one of America’s greatest philhellenes.
Ed Derwinski died on Sunday, January 15, 2012 at the age of 85. He was a strong advocate for Hellenic issues and the Hellenic community in his subsequent positions as Undersecretary of State for National Security Affairs in the Reagan Administration and as America’s first Secretary of Veterans Affairs in the George H.W. Bush Administration.
“I first met Ed in the early 1970’s. Then he was Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. We have a lot of things in common, we grew up during a recession and we fought during World War II”, Athens emphasizes.
Moreover, Andrew Athens said that Derwinski showed a great respect to the requests of Hellenism in Cyprus during the Turkish invasion, and enforced stronger ties between the US and Greece.
Furthermore, Derwinski struggled for the promotion of religious freedoms of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
The last time that Andrew Athens saw Derwinski was during the former’s 90th birthday celebration.