Greek Independence Day: A National Day of Celebration of Greek and American Democracy, 2000 - By the President

Office of the Press Secretary
(Mumbai, India)

For Immediate Release March 24, 2000


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Two thousand five hundred years ago, the birth of democracy in Greece ushered in one of the true golden ages of Western civilization. The flowering of political, social, and artistic innovation in Greece served as the source of many of our most treasured gifts -- the philosophy of Plato and Socrates, the plays of Sophocles and Aristophanes, the heroic individualism that rings in the epic poetry of Homer.

But Ancient Greece's greatest legacy is the establishment of democratic government. America's founders were deeply influenced by the passion for truth and justice that guided Greek political theory. In ratifying our Constitution, they forever enshrined these principles in American law and created a system of government based on the Hellenic belief that the authority to govern derives directly from the people.

While our democracy has its roots in Greek thought, the friendship between our two nations flows from our shared values, common goals, and mutual respect. This kinship with the Greek people was reflected in the enthusiasm with which America embraced modern Greece's fight for independence 179 years ago. Many Americans fought alongside the Greeks, while stirring speeches by President James Monroe and Daniel Webster led the Congress to send funds and supplies to aid the Greeks in their struggle for freedom.

Our alliance with Greece has remained strong. Together we have stood up to the forces of oppression in conflicts from World War II to the Persian Gulf, we have joined as strategic partners in NATO, and we have worked to build peace, stability, and prosperity in the Balkans. Through decades of challenge and change, our friendship has endured and deepened, and together we have proved the fundamental truth of the Greek proverb, "The passion for freedom never dies."

That passion for freedom has also beckoned generations of Greek men and women to America's shores, and today we celebrate and give thanks for the myriad contributions Greek Americans have made to our national life. More than a million citizens of Greek descent live in America today, and their devotion to family, faith, community, and country has enriched our society immeasurably.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 25, 2000, as Greek Independence Day: A National Day of Celebration of Greek and American Democracy. I call upon all Americans to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fourth day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-fourth.


What's New - March 2000

Women's History Month 2000

The Minimum Wage: Increasing the Reward for Work

New Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit

Meeting with Religious Leaders

Women's History Month

New Public Private Initiative to reduce Weather Related Air Travel Delays

Gun Violence

Agreement with Smith & Wesson


Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

American Red Cross Month

Prescription Drug Plan

U.S. – China WTO Accession Deal

Common Sense Gun Laws

Irish-American Heritage Month

Civilian Research and Development

Patient's Bill of Rights

Joint Statement by President Clinton and Prime Minister Tony Blair of the UK

Vaccines to Developing Countires

Human Genome Project

Information Age

Semi-Finalists for 2000-2001 White House Fellowships

President Clinton Urges Congress to Pass Budget

Congressional Budget Resolution

Save your Vision Week

St. Patrick's Day, 2000

Clinton/Gore actions to Enhance America's Energy Security

Social Security Trustees Report - March 30, 2000

Strengthen America's Energy Security

Report Shows Unprecedented Progress

Proclamation: Cancer Control Month, 2000

National Poison Prevention Week

Education and Sharing Day, U.S.A., 2000

Greek Independence Day

Proclamation: National Child Abuse Prevention Month, 2000

Statement by the President on NPT

Common Sense Gun Legislation

Raising the Minimum Wage

U.S. --China WTO Accession Deal

U.S.- China WTO Agreement

Enforcement of The U.S. - China WTO Accession Deal

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