WASHINGTON – The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), a leading membership-based association for the nation’s three million American citizens of Greek heritage and Philhellenes, and its affiliated organizations, celebrated the 192nd Anniversary of Greek Independence at a White House ceremony on April 18, 2013. President Barack Obama, Vice President Joseph Biden, Jr. and His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios provided remarks.
“We are deeply grateful to President Obama for issuing the proclamation that calls on the people of the United States to observe Greek Independence Day with appropriate ceremonies and activities,” said Supreme President Dr. John Grossomanides. “We also thank the president for expressing his appreciation for the contributions of Greek Americans that are ‘woven into the fabric of our national life.’”
The presidential proclamation, while reflecting on the contributions of Greece to the world, foremost being democratic principles and ideals that inspired America’s Founding Fathers, also describes Greece as a valued NATO ally.
“Today, we congratulate Greece, a valued NATO ally, as it commemorates the 192nd anniversary of its independence, and we pledge our continued solidarity as the country works to rebuild its economy. In the face of hardship, America stands with the people of Greece, confident they can meet the challenges of the 21st century while upholding their ancient ideals,” the Proclamation states.
Several AHEPA family leaders accompanied Supreme President Dr. Grossomanides to the ceremony, including: Daughters of Penelope Grand President Joanne Saltas, Sons of Pericles Supreme President Michael Michalopulos, Maids of Athena Grand President Angela Armstrong, Chairman of the Board Nicholas A. Karacostas, PSP; Daughters of Penelope Grand Vice President Anna-Helene Panagakos, Supreme Vice President Anthony Kouzounis, Supreme Secretary Phillip T. Frangos, Supreme Treasurer Anthony Drakos, and Daughters of Penelope Executive Director Elena Skardis Saviolakis.