“The United States – and all of Western civilization – has been profoundly shaped by the extraordinary achievements of the Greek people, stretching all the way back to ancient times,” US President Donald Trump said on Monday, speaking at the annual celebration of Greece's independence from Ottoman rule at the White House.
“Today, we commemorate the Greeks’ long struggle to regain their independence from a foreign empire. On March 25th, 1821, Greek patriots rose up and fought to liberate their country, restore their sovereignty and reclaim their destiny,” Trump said in his welcoming address at the event, which was attended by leading representatives of the Greek-American community, including Archbishop Demetrios, ambassadors Haris Lalakos of Greece and Marios Lysiotis of Cyprus, the European Union's representative in the US, Stavros Lambrinidis, among many others.
“This evening, we also celebrate the countless ways Greek Americans strengthen and uplift and inspire our nation. You live by the values that are the foundation of America’s greatness,” said the US president. “You honor hard work. You love your families. You enrich your culture. And you embrace the American Dream.”
Trump also hailed Greek members of the American armed forces who were honored at the event, including Senior Airman Gregory Manuel and Major Carl Hollister, saying that “in every generation, Greek Americans have summoned the courage to defend our freedom.”
Addressing members of the Greek-American business world and community leaders, Trump thanked them for bringing “jobs and promise to cities and towns across America.”
The Greek-American community's big annual parade marking the March 25th anniversary will take place on April 14 in New York City.