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Recognizing The 191St Anniversary Of The Independence Of Greece

Sen. Harry Reid

legislator photo

Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate proceed to the consideration of S. Res. 398, submitted earlier today.

Without objection, it is so ordered.

The clerk will report.

The legislative clerk read as follows:

A resolution (S. Res. 398) recognizing the 191st anniversary of the independence of Greece and celebrating Greek and American Democracy.

There being no objection, the Senate proceeded to consider the resolution.

Sen. Harry Reid

legislator photo

Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, the motions to reconsider laid upon the table, with no intervening action or debate, and that any statements relating to the resolution be printed in the Record.

Without objection, it is so ordered.

The resolution (S. Res. 398) was agreed to.

The preamble was agreed to.

The resolution, with its preamble, reads as follows:

Whereas the ancient Greeks developed the concept of democracy, in which the supreme power to govern was vested in the people; Whereas the Founding Fathers of the United States, many of whom read Greek political philosophy in the original Greek, drew heavily on the political experience and philosophy of ancient Greece in forming our representative democracy; Whereas Greek Commander in Chief Petros Mavromichalis, a founder of the modern Greek state, said to the citizens of the United States in 1821 that ``it is in your land that liberty has fixed her abode and. . .in imitating you, we shall imitate our ancestors and be thought worthy of them if we succeed in resembling you''; Whereas the Greek national anthem, the ``Hymn to Liberty'', includes the words, ``Most heartily was gladdened George Washington's brave land''; Whereas the people of the United States generously offered humanitarian assistance to the people of Greece during their struggle for independence; Whereas Greece, in one of the most consequential ``David vs. Goliath'' victories for freedom and democracy in modern times, refused to surrender to the Axis forces and inflicted a fatal wound at a crucial moment in World War II, forcing Hitler to change his timeline and delaying the attack on Russia where the Axis Forces met defeat; Whereas Winston Churchill said, ``If there had not been the virtue and courage of the Greeks, we do not know which the outcome of World War II would have been.''; Whereas hundreds of thousands of Greek civilians were killed in Greece during World War II in defense of the values of the Allies; Whereas, throughout the 20th century, Greece was one of a few countries that allied with the United States in every major international conflict; Whereas Greece is a strategic partner and ally of the United States in bringing political stability and economic development to the volatile Balkan region, having invested billions in the countries of the region, thereby helping to create many tens of thousands of new jobs, and having contributed more than $750,000,000 in development aid for the region; Whereas the Government and people of Greece actively participate in peacekeeping and peace-building operations conducted by international organizations, including the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the European Union, and the Organization for Security and Co- operation in Europe, and have more recently provided critical support to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization operation in Libya; Whereas Greece received worldwide praise for its extraordinary handling during the 2004 Olympic Games of more than 14,000 athletes and more than 2,000,000 spectators and journalists, a feat the Government and people of Greece handled efficiently, securely, and with hospitality; Whereas Greece, located in a region where Christianity meets Islam and Judaism, maintains excellent relations with Muslim nations and Israel; Whereas the Government of Greece has taken important steps in recent years to further cross-cultural understanding and rapprochement and cooperation in various fields with Turkey, and has also upgraded its relations with other countries in the region, including Israel, thus enhancing the stability of the wider region; Whereas the Governments and people of Greece and the United States are at the forefront of efforts for freedom, democracy, peace, stability, and human rights; Whereas those and similar ideals have forged a close bond between the people of Greece and the United States; and Whereas it is proper and desirable for the United States to celebrate March 25, 2012, Greek Independence Day, with the Greek people and to reaffirm the democratic principles from which these two great nations were born: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the Senate-- (1) extends warm congratulations and best wishes to the people of Greece as they celebrate the 191st anniversary of the independence of Greece; (2) expresses support for the principles of democratic governance to which the people of Greece are committed; and (3) notes the important role that Greece has played in the wider European region and in the community of nations since gaining its independence 191 years ago.