March 25th, 2011
06:23 PM ET
WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Obama celebrated the 190th anniversary of Greek Independence, saying the bonds of the United States and Greece go back to the beginning of America.
“Our Founding Fathers were students of Greek philosophy and Greek history, drawing on Greek principles to guide our own nation in its earliest days,” Mr. Obama said. “When it was time for Greek revolutionaries to fight for freedom, they looked to the United States for strength and support. And to this day, the United States and Greece shares a bond rooted in common values and common ideals.”
The president spoke in the East Room to a crowd of many people in the Greek American community including four members of Congress. He was joined on stage by Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America who urged the president to continue to stand for freedom and democracy.
President Obama agreed and said the two nations will continue to work together as allies.
“We stand together -– not only for our own security, but for the freedom of peoples around the world. Right now, Greek and American soldiers are serving together in Afghanistan,” Obama said. “And as we celebrate the independence of the Greek people, the United States and Greece are standing with our NATO allies to support the Libyan people as they stand up for their own freedom.”
Earlier in the day, President Obama called the Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou to congratulate him on the Greek independence anniversary. The two leaders also discussed Libya and NATO’s role in implementing the UN Security Council Resolution 1973.
The president had declared Friday, March 25th as “Greek Independence Day: A National Day of Celebration of Greek and American Democracy.”