Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to join me in commemorating the 191st anniversary of Greek independence. It is an honor to recognize a nation whose rich and vibrant history not only laid the foundation for democracy, but whose immigrants and descendants have enriched the cultural landscape of our Nation.
The warm friendship that America shares with Greece is rooted in the indelible mark of democracy and self-determination that Hellenic culture has left on our country. We note that the ancient Greeks developed the concept of democracy, in which the supreme power to govern was vested in the people. Our 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.
And just as our founding fathers were guided by these principles in their fight for independence from the British Crown, so too were the founders of modern-day Greece, who declared their independence from the Ottoman Empire on March 25th, 191 years ago.
Since the birth of both Nations, we have shared the desire to uphold the values of freedom, equality, and justice championed by the Ancient Greeks. We have joined together to promote peace and stability in the world. Indeed, Greece is our ally and our partner, having supported the United States in every major international conflict throughout the 20th century. Though rooted in ancient ideals, our strong allegiance continues today through a shared belief that freedom and democracy are the building blocks of peace.
At home, we recognize the contributions of Greeks in the areas in culture, literature and architecture.
I trust that the bonds between our two Nations will remain strong for years to come.
I ask my colleagues to join me in extending warm congratulations and best wishes to the people of Greece as they celebrate the 191st anniversary of their independence.