President Obama celebrated Greek Independence Day on Tuesday March 9th this year. Archbishop Demetrios, Vice president Joe Biden and the Secretary of State Hilary Clinton were present for the Greek Independence day celebration. Greek Prime minister George Papandreou who earlier had a meeting with president was also present at the East Wing where the party took place.
The reason for celebrating two weeks earlier instead of the actual day on March 25th is because the President has a very heavy schedule and will be out of the country on the 25th of the month.
“Greek Independence Day isn’t for another few weeks. But I’ll be on a trip to Asia, so I appreciate you coming early — not that Greeks have ever needed an excuse to celebrate, let’s face it,” the president joked.
President Obama acknowledged that the country is facing troubling times but tried not to talk too much about it since this was a celebration.
“Like his father and his grandfather before him, the Prime Minister is leading Greece through challenging times. But as I told him during our meeting in the Oval Office today, whether in good times or in bad times, the people of Greece will always have a friend and a partner in the United States of America.”
Mr. Obama used the Greek word “philotimo,” throughout this speech and said he grew up with Ancient Greek myths.
Archbishop Demetrios, the Ambassadors of Greece and Cyprus and members of congress, were present. In his closing remarks President Obama referred to his basketball buddy and friend Alexi Giannoulias saying “we’ve got at least one potential member of Congress” referring to Giannoulias candidancy for Senate in Illinois.