Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Toast by the President at a Luncheon Given in His Honor by King Paul

December 15, 1959

Your Majesty:

My heartfelt thanks are extended to the people of Greece for the warm welcome they have accorded me. This welcome reflects the friendship between our two peoples--a friendship cemented in war and in our common effort to preserve and to amplify the concept of liberty, a heritage from the ancient Greeks.

Your Majesty has spoken eloquently of the mission of my country. I believe that the essential element in the alliance of people dedicated to freedom, including those sharing the responsibilities of NATO, is that we are equals who respect each other's interest.

Our alliance is based upon single will to maintain human dignity. This alliance of ours is a union of like-minded peoples, each contributing to the limit of their capacity. The devotion of the Greek people to this common ideal is nowhere more amply attested than in the settlement of the Cyprus problem.

I agree with Your Majesty that we in the free world today confront a great challenge.

How we shall meet it depends in large measure upon our determination, patience, and strength in union. In this test, I have no doubt that the heroic Greek people, who for thousands of years have guarded their independence with fierce decisiveness, will stand in the vanguard.

And so I raise my glass to His Majesty, the King, stalwart standard-bearer of the unquenchable spirit of Hellenism, and to the people of Greece, whose steadfast allegiance to right inspires the admiration of the American people. In union, and with the guidance of the Almighty, may we forge ahead to peace, justice, and prosperity for all mankind.

Note: The President proposed this toast at a luncheon at the royal palace.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Toast by the President at a Luncheon Given in His Honor by King Paul Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/235012

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