OPINION

Letter to the Editor

Since 1974 I have led the excavations at the site of Nemea in the Corinthia. During the intervening years I have purchased the property necessary to excavate, constructed a museum and turned it over in 1984 to the Greek State in the persons of Melina Mercouri and Andreas Papandreou, uncovered the ancient stadium and many other buildings, founded the Society for the Revival of the Nemean Games, landscaped and maintained an archaeological park, begun restoration of the ancient Temple of Zeus, guided scholarly research and publications both academic and popular, and much more (see www.nemea.org). Most of that work has been done in periods when my university was not in session and my teaching responsibilities reduced. It has been done with the assistance of hundreds of local people in Nemea who have learned the techniques of archaeology, of reconstruction, etc., while they supplemented their incomes. (In 2001, for example, 43 families benefited from their weekly pay envelope during the months of May, June, and July.) All of this work has been carried out entirely with funds donated by private individuals, nearly all of them here in the United States of America. The total amount that has gone into the local economy of Nemea exceeds $3,000,000. At this time each year, after my return to Berkeley, I report to the hundreds of private American donors on the results of the previous campaign at Nemea, and I ask for them to continue their support. Although some of these donors are wealthy, many are not. Last year 203 people gave an average of $365 to the projects at Nemea. It is time for me to report to them again and to ask for their support. After the attempted US flag burning in Nea Philadelphia, after the anti-American editorials in so many Athenian newspapers, after the comments of leaders like Mrs. Papariga and Archbishop Christodoulos, how can I approach those American donors and ask them to continue support of the work at Nemea? How can I ask them to take money they have earned and contribute it to a place where Americans are hated? What have we done to earn such antipathy from the Greeks? How have we harmed you? Why have I given so much of myself to Greece? Stephen G. Miller Student career