The supreme President of The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (Order of AHEPA) Carl R. Hollister has announced that the leading membership-based service association for the nation’s millions of American citizens of Greek heritage and Philhellenes, strongly denounces the attempted vandalism of the Harry S. Truman Memorial Statue in Athens by left-wing extremists.
“AHEPA respects and encourages freedom of speech and the rights of individuals to gather and demonstrate peacefully,” Hollister said.
“However, there are certainly more productive and effective ways to express dissent or opposition than to resort to senseless acts of vandalism.”
“We commend the Hellenic Police Unit for the Reinstatement of Order for its effort to prevent the vandalism of the Truman Statue. We will work with the mayor of Athens and the municipality to explore measures to protect the Truman Statue, which has quite often been the target of vandals,” he added.
The Truman Statue was gifted to Athens by the AHEPA on behalf of Greek Americans when it was dedicated on May 29, 1963, before an audience of 20,000.
At the unveiling of the statue ceremony, then prime minister of Greece Konstantinos Karamanlis had stated the importance of the Truman Doctrine saying, “If the Greeks want to survive as a free nation, they should not forget the dramatic period with which Mr. Truman’s name is linked. Should they forget it, they would deserve their fate and have no right to ask for anyone’s help.”
President Harry S. Truman was a member of AHEPA, since joining on March 25, 1946, at ceremonies that were held at the White House.