On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I congratulate the people of Greece as they mark the Hellenic Republic’s 189th National Day. This is an opportunity to honor Greece’s history and culture, which has contributed so much to our common humanity.
In the United States, millions of Greek-Americans will gather with family and friends to celebrate their Hellenic heritage. From the earliest days of our own republic, America has looked to Greece for inspiration and Greek-Americans have enriched our society and culture. From government and business to medicine and entertainment, Greek-Americans are leaders and innovators. They help cement the historic bonds that hold our two nations close.
As NATO allies, Greece and the United States work together on a wide range of common concerns. It is a partnership built on shared democratic values and aspirations.
This month, I had the honor of hosting Prime Minister Papandreou in Washington and offering my support for the resolve Greece has shown in these challenging times. And I was pleased that during his visit, we were able to welcome Greece into the Visa Waiver Program.
As we celebrate modern Greece’s independence, I offer my warmest wishes to Hellenes and Philhellenes around the globe. May you have a safe and happy holiday.