The memories of September 11 will always be with us. Time will not eliminate the sorrow. Words will not soothe the anguish. Wisdom will not explain the evil. But through yet another challenge to our values and way of life, we endure; and we were reminded that the fragility of our individual existence is infinitely surpassed by the indomitable essence of our collective spirit. This spirit reflects our finest personal virtues and defines our nation.
The virtues that make America so unique find their origin in ancient Greece and through a value system that was founded thousands of years ago. These virtues, enshrined in our young nation, can never be forgotten as we strive to form a more perfect union. The freedoms that bind each of us together are the cornerstone of our great society and at the heart of the resilience which guarantees that good triumphs over evil. Eighteen years ago, our nation stood strong and once again showed the world America’s resolve and the unity of its people.
On this solemn day, we are given the opportunity to reflect upon and appreciate the values that create a just society and a principled state. America is second to none and stands as a beacon of hope for the world to admire and for the wise to emulate. With pride, dignity, perseverance and an unyielding drive to make the future brighter, we pulled together to re-build what we lost, mend what could never be restored and revere the thousands of lives that were taken from us too soon.
Our Saint Nicholas National Shrine at World Trade Center will be built. AHEPA fulfilled its $1 million pledge this past summer at our Supreme Convention in Chicago. The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and the countless voiceless victims are in need of everyone’s support, however big or small. AHEPA has always stood against cultural and religious intolerance. It is our essence. Consider giving a donation to the “AHEPA Charitable Foundation” and in the memo earmark the Saint Nicholas National Shrine Fund (or donate online). In the spirit of all the Hellenic community stands for worldwide, also consider spreading this message.
Through tragedy after tragedy, be it natural or man-made, America endures. And somehow, we endure stronger and wiser than before.
Let us never forget the Hellenic values which gave rise to the benefits we and western civilization have enjoyed for millennia. Let us never ignore our responsibilities to our fellow man, our community and our nation. And let us never forget to thank God for the United States of America.
In brotherhood, I remain,
George G. Horiates