THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release March 25, 1994
GREEK INDEPENDENCE DAY: A NATIONAL DAY OF CELEBRATION OF GREEK AND AMERICAN DEMOCRACY, 1994 - - - - - - - BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA A PROCLAMATION
In voicing support of the Greek battle for independence, President Monroe expressed the American sense of fellowship that endures to this day, "A strong hope has been entertained, founded on the heroic struggle of the Greeks . . . that Greece will become again an independent nation. That she may obtain that rank is the object of our most ardent wishes."
Throughout the history of our sovereign nations, the unique bond that exists between the peoples of the United States and Greece has grown from the knowledge that we share a common cause -- our profound devotion to advancing the ideals of democracy. Drawing on the wisdom of Hellenic philosophy, America's Founding Fathers crafted a Nation that realizes the early promise of representative government. From the gleaming white columns of ancient Athens to the shining monuments of Washington, D.C., the spirits and symbols of our capital cities reflect our deeply-held commitment to promoting individual freedom and human dignity.
This year, as Americans and Greeks rejoice in witnessing the formation of new democracies where old adversaries once stood, the traditional celebration of Greek Independence Day reveals the true legacy of Greek and American liberty. To mark both the triumph of freedom and the coming of spring in their rich land, one custom prescribes that Greek children remove the "March-thread" they have worn on their wrists throughout the month. As the swallows return from their winter in the South, the children hang the threads on a tree, an offering to the birds for their nests. These ties, once a reminder of the bleakness of winter, become the seeds of springtime's rebirth.
In much the same way, brave young nations around the world are throwing off the last vestiges of authoritarian rule and awakening to the rich possibilities of freedom's spring. They are emerging from their own fierce campaigns for independence and modeling their governments on the steady examples we have set. Encouraged by the triumphs of our histories and the continuity of our friendship, Greeks and Americans everywhere join today in wishing the world's newest democracies a future worthy of our past -- one of great prosperity and lasting peace.
In recognition of the close bond that has been forged between the nations of the United States and Greece, and to reaffirm the democratic principles from which they draw their strength, the Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 162, has designated March 25, 1994, as "Greek Independence Day: A National Day of Celebration of Greek and American Democracy" and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this day.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim March 25, 1994, as Greek Independence Day: A National Day of Celebration of Greek and American Democracy. I call upon all Americans to observe this day, the 173rd anniversary of the beginning of the Greek revolution against the Ottoman Empire, with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities in honor of the Greek people and Greek independence.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fifth day of March, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eighteenth.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON
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