United stand in the face of uncertainty

The first anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks that struck the United States coincided with Greece’s managing to put behind bars most of the suspected members of its deadliest urban guerrilla group. As memorial services were held across most of the world, Greeks commemorated the day with a service conducted by Archbishop Christodoulos in Athens Cathedral; an event at the Athens Concert Hall with music, photos and videos; and a memorial service at the US ambassador’s residence. This provided the opportunity for officials to condemn international and domestic terrorism and to express determination to crush it in all its forms. Prime Minister Costas Simitis, on a visit to the Cretan city of Iraklion, spoke of the attacks in America. «We express our solidarity with the families of the victims, with all who are suffering from this tragedy. A year after September 11, the world has not returned to the past security situation. We are certain of fewer things,» he said. He spoke also of November 17, saying the campaign against terrorism would continue. «All of us must respect the families of the people who were lost. All of use must set the example of unanimous, unconditional and absolute condemnation of terrorism. Because in this way we honor our democracy… Only in this way do we honor our country,» he said. Representing the government at the US Embassy ceremony, Development Minister Akis Tsochadzopoulos said Greece’s seriousness in the war against terrorism could be seen in its elimination of the «most murderous» Greek organization. Ambassador Thomas Miller said that the memorial service was «also an acknowledgment of the fact that among those killed at the World Trade Center were several Greeks and many Greek Americans.» «Today’s ceremony is also meant to convey our appreciation to Greece, a strong ally in the war on terrorism,» he said. «Greece has demonstrated its commitment to rooting out terrorism and has helped my country as we deal with terrorist attacks on our own soil. Greece supported the US-led operation in Afghanistan, which removed the Taliban, and drove Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda to flight.»

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