Washington, D.C. –Nearly two million Americans claim Greek ancestry, including Congressman Gus Bilirakis, whose grandparents emigrated from Greece to the United States in the early 1900s. This week, Congressman Bilirakis and his Hellenic Caucus colleagues, including Representatives Malliotakis, Pallone, Titus, Pappas, and Sarbanes sponsored a resolution to commemorate the upcoming 202nd anniversary of Greek Independence which will take place on March 25, 2023. The resolution emphasizes the hard-fought struggle for independence of the Greek people, and the historic and dynamic relationship that defines the deep American-Hellenic ties.
“It is with great pride that I recognize the 202nd Anniversary of Greek Independence and celebrate Greek and American democracy. Like the American revolutionaries who fought for independence and established this great republic we call the ‘Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave’, Greek freedom fighters began an arduous struggle to win independence for Greece and its people 202 years ago. The lessons the Greeks taught us then continue to provide strength to victims of persecution throughout the world today. By honoring the Greek struggle for independence, we reaffirm the values and ideas that make our nation great. Socrates, Plato, Pericles, and many other great minds throughout history warned that we maintain democracy only at a great cost. Our Greek brothers earned their liberty with blood as did our American forefathers. The freedom we enjoy today is due to the sacrifices made by men and women in the past. Each time I perform my constitutional duties, I am doing so in the legacy of the ancient Greeks and our American forefathers. We celebrate Greek independence to reaffirm the common democratic heritage we share. As Americans, we must continue to pursue this spirit of freedom and liberty that characterizes both great nations,” said Congressman Bilirakis.
“As the daughter of a Greek immigrant from the island of Crete, I’m proud to join my colleagues in commemorating the 202nd anniversary of Greece’s independence from the Ottoman Empire,” Congresswoman Malliotakis said. “Today Americans share many of the same values as our Greek brothers and sisters, including patriotism, a strong work ethic, and the love for freedom, democracy, and opportunity. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to continue strengthening the bilateral relations between our two countries.”
“It’s important to highlight the strong, bipartisan support for the Greek people in Congress. This bill highlights that support by congratulating them on their Independence Day, demonstrating our countries’ shared work together in the past, and committing to our strong partnership moving forward,” said Congressman Pallone.
“It’s my pleasure to join my fellow Greek-Americans and colleagues of the Hellenic Caucus in commemorating the upcoming 202nd anniversary of Greek Independence,” said Congressman Pappas. “This day marks the beginning of the Greeks’ fight for freedom and serves as a reminder of their bravery and determination for independence after hundreds of years of occupation by the Ottoman Empire. Greece’s fight for sovereignty mirrors the United States’ own fight for independence and further unites our nations with a shared belief in the democratic values of freedom and liberty. As we recognize the anniversary of Greek Independence, we remember those lost in the pursuit of freedom and honor their memory.”
“Today, as we recognize this anniversary of Greek independence, we honor the Greek peoples’ spirit in securing their freedom and the historic bond that unites our countries,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “Greece remains a staunch, dependable ally and partner in democracy. As a Greek American, I am proud of our deep friendship and continued work to promote peace and stability around the world.”
“On this meaningful anniversary, we recognize the special bond between the United States and Greece and celebrate the boundless spirit of the Hellenic community,” said Rep. Titus. “In Congress, I will ensure the United States remains a steadfast ally and continues to bolster stability in the East Mediterranean.”
Congressman Bilirakis currently serves as Co-Chairman of the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic as well as the co-founder and current C0-Chairman of the Congressional Hellenic Israel Alliance Caucus.