U.S. Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey R. Pyatt detailed AHEPA’s extensive contribution to the U.S.-Greece relationship at a “Conference on Cultural Diplomacy and Contribution of Diaspora” organized by AHEPA Hellas District 25 and Chapter HJ-25, Patras, Jan. 20, 2021. Ambassador Pyatt’s inspiring presentation
, which included a welcome for a hopeful in-person Supreme Convention in Athens this summer, is appreciated greatly, announced Supreme President George G. Horiates.
“The Greek diaspora and especially grassroots organizations like AHEPA help to put our democratic principles into practice, forming a vital bridge between the peoples of our two countries. You are one of the secret ingredients of our bilateral relationship, helping to advance our great work,” Ambassador Pyatt said, continuing, “I also want to highlight how AHEPA puts our shared values into practice through its generous contributions and events like this, which help keep the historic ties between the United States and Greece alive and ensure that Greeks and Americans on both sides of the Atlantic can better support each other.”
The ambassador expressed his gratitude to AHEPA for its efforts to provide COVID-19 relief, stating AHEPA was one of the first organizations to reach out. He singled-out AHEPA Hospital as providing a “lifeline” for the residents of Northern Greece.
Moreover, Ambassador Pyatt shared the history of AHEPA and the U.S. Embassy working together to tell the story of the longstanding connections between the United States and Greece.
“Most famously, under the leadership of my friend, mentor, and predecessor, Ambassador Nicholas Burns, AHEPA worked with the Embassy to commission the famous statue of George C. Marshall, which is located in our Embassy courtyard, to symbolize the United States’ support for the Greek state and people after WWII,” Ambassador Pyatt said. “AHEPA raised the funds for this statue and also supported the development of a history exhibit, including historical photos and artifacts, telling the story of our relationship. This exhibit is one of the highlights of our Embassy that we proudly share with visitors here.”
The ambassador also cited AHEPA’s support and restoration of the AHEPA Harry Truman Statue, AHEPA’s significant role in the 2018 Thessaloniki International Fair, where the U.S. was the honored country; and AHEPA’s commemoration of Dimitrios Ypsilantis for what he represented to democracy and the shared values between the U.S. and Greece with the dedication of the statue in his honor in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
“We sincerely thank Ambassador Pyatt for his time and kind words about our Order’s service work,” Horiates said. “We look forward to working with the ambassador and the U.S. Embassy Athens team to continue AHEPA’s proud history of contributions that have strengthened ties between the United States and Greece as part of the ongoing Greek Bicentennial commemoration.”
In addition to Supreme President Horiates, the program featured Deputy Foreign Minister Dr. Konstantinos Vlassis, Australian Ambassador to Greece Arthur Spyrou, and Canadian Ambassador to Greece Mark Allan.
“Chapter HJ-25 President Demetrios Moutousis and his team put together a highly engaging program that received wide distribution and views on social media,” Supreme President Horiates said.
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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.