Dear AHEPA Family, Fellow Hellenes and Philhellenes,
In 1821, after nearly 400 years of Ottoman oppression, the Greeks bound together under a flag bearing the cross to fight for freedom and justice in the land which gifted the world democracy. Like the revolution which took place in America 45 years earlier, Greece would embark on a journey forever linking our two countries in their struggle for freedom and independence.
The founding fathers of the United States of America drew upon the ideals and principles forged in ancient Greece in constructing our nation. Thomas Jefferson called ancient Greece “the light which led ourselves out of Gothic darkness.” All who cherish a free and democratic government are beneficiaries of Greece’s legacy and thus should consider themselves Philhellenes. This is why Americans fought alongside the Greeks during their struggle for freedom in the Greek War of Independence, most notably Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe. In so doing, many made the ultimate sacrifice. The Greeks received the support of Jefferson, President James Monroe, Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, and U.S. Representatives Daniel Webster and Henry Clay. Additionally, American Philhellenes rallied support for the war effort by holding fundraising events in several American cities.
Throughout history, Greece and the United States have stood shoulder-to-shoulder to face the challenges of an ever-changing world. Greece had been allied with the United States in every major conflict of the 20th century. The strong alliance continues into the 21st century. Greece, via NSA Souda Bay, Crete, the port of Alexandroupolis, and other military capabilities and bases, has contributed significantly to NATO and United States missions, including peacekeeping operations, in an ever-increasingly important region of the world. United States government officials have called Greece “a pillar of stability” in the Eastern Mediterranean region and relations maintain an “all-time” high level. Today, we see Greece standing up for democracy and freedom as those ideals and values are under attack by Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. We sincerely thank our public officials at the federal, state, and local levels of government, including President Joe Biden (proclamation) and the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues (statement); who recognize the significance of Greek Independence, the close and enduring partnership between the United States and Greece, and the contributions of the Greek American community to society.
In celebration of the 202nd anniversary of Greece’s Independence, AHEPA family chapters, districts, and the Greek diaspora, are working together to promote this important day in our Hellenic history. We will secure proclamations from state and local governments, organize flag-raising ceremonies at various State Capitols and City Halls, and lay wreaths at memorial sites. Indeed, AHEPA family members worldwide proudly promote and sustain the celebration of this historic day for all Hellenes.
Thank you to every Hellene and Philhellene for your dedicated efforts to spread the Hellenic spirit worldwide!
Ζήτω ή Ελλάδα!