President Obama Hosts Reception for Greek Independence Day

Barack Obama Greek Independence
President Barack Obama addressing his guests at the White House Reception for Greek Independence Day

After delivering remarks at Healing Our City: An Interfaith Service dedicated to those who were gravely wounded or killed in Monday’s bombing near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, President Obama flew to Washington to host a reception for Greek Independence day  in the East Room of the White House.

Greece’s national holiday is celebrated annually on March 25th and commemorates the start of the War of Greek Independence in 1821. It coincides with the Greek Orthodox Church’s celebration of the Annunciation to the Theotokos.

Archbishop of America Demetrios was among the 200 prominent Greek-Americans who were invited to the reception.

In his speech, the American President refered to the “friendship and co-operation bonds” between the U.S.A. and Greece and spoke highly of the Greek-American community in the country which is “a mirror of the U.S.”

On March 25th, US President Barack Obama released a proclamation on the occasion of Greek Independence Day.

Read the full proclamation below:

Greek Independence Day : A National Day of Celebration of Greek and American Democracy, 2013

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Each year, America celebrates Greek Independence Day to strengthen the bonds between the birthplace of democracy and the world’s oldest republic. We recognize the enduring contributions of Greek Americans, woven into the fabric of our national life. And we reflect on the ancient Hellenic principles that inspired our Founders to vest the powers of government in the hands of the people.

In both America and Greece, we are inheritors to great republics, entrusted to safeguard the ideals that make representative government work. Our peoples have learned that democracy flourishes when we respect our differences, hold fast to the principles that unite us, and move forward with common purpose. It is a legacy lived by generations of Greek Americans, who for centuries have helped write proud chapters in our country’s history and continue to enrich the character of our Nation.

Today, we congratulate Greece, a valued NATO ally, as it commemorates the 192nd anniversary of its independence, and we pledge our continued solidarity as the country works to rebuild its economy. In the face of hardship, America stands with the people of Greece, confident they can meet the challenges of the 21st century while upholding their ancient ideals.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 25, 2013, as Greek Independence Day: A National Day of Celebration of Greek and American Democracy. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-second day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.