US President Donald Trump attended the celebration of the Greek Independence Day at the White House on Monday evening, accompanied by Archbishop Demetrios and an enthusiastic crowd of Greek-Americans, cabinet members, ambassadors and staff.
“Today we commemorate the uprising of the Greek people to regain their independence from a foreign empire,” Trump said, and celebrate “the countless ways Greeks have contributed to America” and have celebrated this country.
Citing the contributions of Greek culture to world history, the American president mentioned Homer and Aristotle and geometry and map-making, among others, and said that Greece is the birthplace of democracy.
Americans of Greek descent have made a lasting impression in everything including sports, Trump said, and he made special mention of Greek-Americans in the audience who had served in the US armed forces.
The American president also highlighted members of the audience for their spirit and faith in America and the American Dream, including a man who started by working at a barbershop and built a successful construction business; a woman who through the Greek Orthodox Church helped feed people and care for the homeless in America by organising more than 20,000 women across the country; and a man who having fled Albania as a child with his family decided to become a Greek Orthodox priest.
“You are a very, very competitive people, and you never quit,” Trump said, adding that Greek immigrants had deepened the bonds of affection and the pride in the American nation.
Following Trump’s brief address, Archbishop Demetrios thanked the president for his continued support and said it was an honor to be in the White House, which symbolized a nation of freedom for all.