TWENTY years ago today, President Harry S. Truman asked the American people to help the Greek nation preserve its freedom. Before a joint session of the Congress, he declared:
"I believe it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures."
The message and the program he conveyed on that historic occasion became known as the Truman Doctrine.
In commemoration of that decisive hour, in thanksgiving for his courage and vision, and in celebration of the friendship that endures between our peoples, I extend to you and the citizens of Greece my warm greetings and best wishes. In this I am joined by every American who rejoices that Greece is today free and prospering.
President Truman recognized that the security of the United States was intimately related to that of Greece. He warned our people--who, like yours, had just emerged from a savage conflict with another terrorist aggression--that
"We shall not realize our objectives unless we are willing to help free peoples to maintain their free institutions and their national integrity against aggressive movements that seek to impose upon them totalitarian regimes. This is no more than a frank recognition that totalitarian regimes imposed upon free peoples, by direct or indirect aggression, undermine the foundations of international peace and hence the security of the United States."
The American people responded to his call for assistance to a people struggling to be free--and their decision has affected, not only the security of your great nation, but the security of the world for two decades.
I am aware of the sacrifices made by the Greek people in the past 20 years. I am proud of the fact that throughout that period, the United States and Greece have worked together in close partnership toward common goals. I revere the Greek spirit, that for thousands of years has inspired the world, and that has taught men to cherish freedom above all else in life.
Today we mark a moment in man's long quest for freedom. I salute you and your people on this proud anniversary, and I look forward to a future of continued friendship and cooperation between our nations.
LYNDON B. JOHNSON