President Donald Trump honored Americans of Greek descent and the influence of ancient Greece on the founding of America as he addressed White House guests during Thursday evening’s Greek Independence Day celebration.
Trump welcomed members of the Greek-American community to the White House for the yearly White House commemoration of Greece’s Independence Day. The White House tradition has been ongoing since 1987. He joked that while he trusts the tradition will continue on for many years, “I’ll only be with you for another seven.”
Greek independence day is celebrated on March 25, marking the country’s 1821 start of the War of Greek Independence. “After almost four centuries of foreign rule, brave Greek patriots fought to reclaim their freedom, their sovereignty, and their right of self-determination,” Trump recounted. “The Greek fight for independence enjoyed an outpouring of support throughout the western world.”
The crowd cheered at the mention of Greece as the birthplace of Democracy. “All around us here in the United States, we see the profound influence of Greek culture, art, and philosophy,” said Trump who then launched into specific examples of Greek culture’s influence on the founding of America. “In the Federalist Papers our founding fathers consulted the wisdom of the ancient Greek city-states when writing our own Constitution.”
President Trump spoke of national landmarks found throughout the United States capitol and the obvious influence of greek architecture in their construction. He then honored all Americans of Greek descent and their influence on America today. “In celebrating Greek Independence we honor this influence and we remember our common heritage.”
Around the room several young people could be seen in what appeared to be traditional Greek dress:
Archbishop Demetrios, a reoccurring figure at White House commemoration of Greek Independence Day from years past, then took the stage to offer his appreciation for the White House event. He said that the invite shows they honor not only Greek Americans, but the “spirit of freedom and human dignity.”
The Archbishop closed the event with a “beautiful blessing” from the biblical book of Numbers 6:24-26. “May God bless you and keep you; may the Lord shine His face upon you and be merciful to you, may He lift His countenance upon you and give you peace.” His words were met with enthusiastic cheers from the crowd.