Senator Bob Menendez Champions US Senate Passage of Greek Independence Day Resolution
WASHINGTON, DC, March 27, 2015 — Early this morning the United States Senate passed by unanimous consent a resolution highlighting the many bonds between the US and Greece and celebrating the 194th anniversary of the independence of Greece. This is the 30th consecutive year that such legislation has passed the US Senate.
The former Chairman of and current Ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and long-time advocate of Hellenic and Orthodox causes, Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), authored this bill (Senate Resolution 105), secured over 1/4 of the US Senate as co-sponsors or co-authors, and secured its passage.
On March 25, Senator Dan Coats (R-IN) stopped the US Senate from passing this resolution on Greek Independence Day, in objection to statements made by the Greek Defense Minister. That hold was released by Senator Coats yesterday afternoon.
“We thank Ranking Member Menendez and the lead Republican co-sponsor, Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), as well as the other Senators who co-sponsored this legislation,” said Andrew Manatos, President of CEH. The full list of 29 Senators who co-sponsored is below.
This resolution notes, among other things, that:
“The founding fathers of the United States, many of whom read Greek political philosophy in the original Greek language, drew heavily on the political experience and philosophy of ancient Greece in forming the representative democracy of the United States”
“Petros Mavromichalis, the former Commander in Chief of Greece and a founder of the modern Greek state, said to the citizens of the United States in 1821, `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.'”
“The Greek national anthem, the “Hymn to Liberty”, includes the words, “most heartily was gladdened George Washington’s brave land.”
“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 Adolf Hitler to change his timeline and delaying the attack on Russia, where the Axis forces met defeat… 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’ and ‘no longer will we say that Greeks fight like heroes, but that heroes fight like Greeks;'”
“Throughout the 20th century, Greece was one of a few countries that allied with the United States in every major international conflict.”
“Greece, located in a region where Christianity meets Islam and Judaism, maintains excellent relations with Muslim countries and Israel… has taken important steps in recent years to further cross-cultural understanding, rapprochement, and cooperation in various fields with Turkey and has also improved its relations with other countries in the region, including Israel, thus enhancing the stability of the wider region.”
“The governments and people of Greece and the United States are at the forefront of efforts to advance freedom, democracy, peace, stability, and human rights … those efforts and similar ideals have forged a close bond between the people of Greece and the United States.”
Co-sponsors of S. Res. 105
Sponsor — Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ)
Lead Republican Co-sponsor — Senator John Barrasso (R-WY)