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Proclamation 6417—Greek Independence Day: A National Day of Celebration of Greek and American Democracy, 1992

March 25, 1992

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

The United States proudly joins in celebrating Greek Independence Day on March 25, not only because many Americans trace their roots to Greece, but also because our two countries share a strong commitment to the ideals of freedom and democratic government.

When the people of Greece began to seek independence 171 years ago, they enjoyed widespread support in the United States. President Monroe expressed admiration for "the heroic struggle" of the Greeks during his seventh annual address to the Congress, and countless Americans shared his "ardent wishes" that their quest for liberty would triumph. Yet the shared aspirations and values that unite the Greek and American peoples can be traced long before the historic events of the early 19th century.

The great philosophers of ancient Greece and the experiences of its city-states had a profound impact on the founding of our Republic -- as they have had on the development of all Western civilization. Many of our Founders were well schooled in classical languages and Greek literature, and their view of both human nature and the nature of civil order was clearly influenced by the thought of Solon, Thucydides, Plato, and other Greek statesmen, historians, and philosophers. Thomas Jefferson praised Greece for the enlightenment that was provided by its "splendid constellation of sages and heroes," and James Madison and other delegates to the Federal Convention often referred to the experiences of the Amphictyonic council and the Achaean league when debating proposals for the representation of States under our Constitution. Greek antiquity offered the Framers of our Constitution many valuable insights as they labored to establish a just and enduring system of democratic government in the United States.

Thousands of years ago, Greece became the "cradle of democracy." Today, democracy is no longer a nascent ideal, but a tried and proven form of government that continues to flourish around the world as hundreds of millions of people seek the blessings of freedom and self-government. During this period of historic change for so many nations, it is fitting that the peoples of the United States and Greece reaffirm our shared democratic heritage and the importance of our continuing cooperation. The Western alliance of democratic nations, including Greece, was instrumental in thwarting imperial communism and hastening the collapse of totalitarian regimes. Now, as newly emerging democracies grapple with serious problems of economic hardship and social unrest, the United States and Greece will continue to stand as partners in the promotion of peace and stability based on respect for human rights and for the rule of law.

As an expression of the warm and friendly relations that exist between the Greek and American peoples and our governments, the Congress, by Public Law 102-263, has designated March 25, 1992, as "Greek Independence Day: A National Day of Celebration of Greek and American Democracy" and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this day.

Now, Therefore, I, George Bush, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim March 25, 1992, as Greek Independence Day: A National Day of Celebration of Greek and American Democracy. I invite all Americans to observe this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities in honor of the Greek people and Greek independence.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fifth day of March, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and sixteenth.

Signature of George Bush


George Bush, Proclamation 6417—Greek Independence Day: A National Day of Celebration of Greek and American Democracy, 1992 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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