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THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Vice President


For Immediate Release March 24, 2000
                    STATEMENT BY THE VICE PRESIDENT
                       ON GREEK INDEPENDENCE DAY

     I am pleased to extend my greetings to everyone as you celebrate

Greek Independence Day.

Though thousands of miles separate our two nations, America has very deep roots in Greece -- from the visible expression of our shared values in the Greek revival architecture of our institutions of government, to the passion for truth and justice handed down from the ancients.

Our founders studied history's first democracy in the original Greek. And in 1824, as Greece was locked in the struggle for independence that we celebrate today, Daniel Webster asked on the floor of the House of Representatives, "Does not the land ring from side to side with one common sentiment of sympathy for Greece?"

In this past century, the relationship between our nations deepened as we fought together in two world wars, in Korea, and in the former Yugoslavia. We stand together in NATO -- and in each generation, we have given new life to the old proverb: Ou thniskei zeilos eleutherias; the passion for freedom never dies.

And the values that Greek-Americans have brought from Greece are the values that are strengthening America today -- faith, hard-work, devotion to family and kinotitos -- community.

We are a better nation because of it. So I thank you for your commitment to America's future, and for rooting that bright future in our proud, shared past. For all of your contributions -- efcharisto, thank you -- and enjoy today's celebration.

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