The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (Order of AHEPA), the leading membership-based service association for the nation’s millions of American citizens of Greek heritage and Philhellenes, and its affiliated organizations, celebrated the 198th Anniversary of Greek Independence with the American Hellenic community at a White House ceremony held March 18, 2019. President Donald J. Trump and His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Geron of America, provided remarks.
“We sincerely thank President Trump for issuing a Proclamation that calls on the people of the United States to observe Greek Independence Day with appropriate ceremonies and activities,” Supreme President George E. Loucas said. “We also commend the president for acknowledging a ‘robust’ partnership between the United States and Greece which has gained momentum following the inaugural Strategic Dialogue held between the two countries in December.”
The Proclamation also recognizes developments in U.S.-Greece Commercial Dialogue and in defense cooperation as well as the “profound impact” of Greek Americans upon culture in the United States.
In President Trump’s remarks, he saluted the service to the United States of Greek American veterans, including citing the 21 years of active and reserve service of retired U.S. Army Major Carl R. Hollister, Past Supreme President and Board of Trustees vice chairman.
“We’re very proud of Brother Hollister and his recognition from President Trump is well-deserved, and we are grateful for his service to our nation,” Loucas said.
He added, “AHEPA values the fact that representatives of the American Hellenic community have been welcome to the White House since AHEPA’s meeting with President Calvin Coolidge in 1924. This recognition demonstrates that the Office of the Presidency has valued the American Hellenic community, its concerns, and its many contributions to the tapestry that is America since the time American Hellenes became organized and mobilized in the United States.”
AHEPA is proud that Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, and Gerald R. Ford were members of AHEPA.
Several AHEPA family national officers attended the ceremony including: Daughters of Penelope Grand President Demi Thomas, Sons of Pericles Supreme President Gregory Vourloumis, Maids of Athena Grand President Tatiana Tsaprailis, Supreme Secretary George Horiates, Esq., Board of Trustees Vice Chairman Carl R. Hollister, PSP; Executive Director Basil N. Mossaidis, and Daughters of Penelope Executive Director Elena Saviolakis.
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Founded in 1922 in Atlanta, Georgia, on the principles that undergirded its fight for civil rights and against discrimination, bigotry, and hatred felt at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan, AHEPA is the largest and oldest grassroots association of American citizens of Greek heritage and Philhellenes with more than 400 chapters across the United States, Canada, and Europe.
AHEPA’s mission is to promote the ancient Greek ideals of Education, Philanthropy, Civic Responsibility, and Family and Individual Excellence through community service and volunteerism.
For more information, please visit www.ahepa.org.