GOARCH - March 13, 1998

President Clinton Welcomes Archbishop Spyridon
to Receive Proclamation

New York,NY - President William J. Clinton welcomed Archbishop Spyridon, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, to the Oval Office on March12 to receive the official proclamation declaring March 25th,1998: Greek Independence Day: A National Day of Celebration of Greek and American Democracy.

In conversation with His Eminence, the President recalled the historic visit of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and discussed issues of mutual concern and interest to the Greek Orthodox faithful and Greek American community. Accompanying the Archbishop was a delegation including Greek Ambassador Loucas Tsilas, Father George Kalpaxis, a priest of the first graduating class of Holy Cross School of Theology and representatives of Greek American organizations.

"This year," stated the Proclamation, "as we mark the 177th anniversary of the advent of Greece's struggle for independence, we celebrate with the Hellenic Republic and recognize the close ties that have long existed between Greece and the United States. Through two centuries, our nations have enjoyed a strong and enduring friendship....Our bonds are deeper still, however, for we are joined by blood, culture, and a profound commitment to shared values. Greek ideals of democracy and freedom inspired our Nation's founders and breathed life into America's experiment with democratic self-government. Generations of Greek Americans have enriched every aspect of our national life -- in the arts, sciences, business, politics, and sports. Through hard work, love of family and community, steadfast commitment to principle, and a deep love of liberty, they have contributed greatly to the prosperity and peace we enjoy today."

  March 13, 1998 ]