Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt’s Message to the Greek American Community in Tampa, Florida
On the Occasion of the 2020 Greek Independence Day
Wednesday, March 25, 2020
As the U.S. Ambassador to the Hellenic Republic on this 199th anniversary of Greek Independence, I’m pleased to report that the relationship between the United States and Greece is at an all-time high. Building on the shared values and democratic ideals that inspired both of our nations in their struggles for independence, leaders from across the political spectrum and on both sides of the Atlantic are making a concerted effort to raise the bar for U.S.-Greece relations.
Although this year we will not have public celebrations or the much awaited annual White House reception in honor of Greek Independence Day, I join Secretary Pompeo in saying that, as we face today’s difficult challenges together, the strength of our bonds with Greece shines and prevails. As Vice President Pence said during Prime Minister Mitsotakis’ visit to Washington, these unbreakable bonds “have been built between families, by Greek families that came to this country and, from the very founding of this nation, have contributed immeasurably to the life of this nation.”
Our work benefits tremendously from the engaged Greek American community, which serves as a builder of bridges, strengthening the rich and textured relationship between our countries. The renowned diaspora community of Tarpon Springs experienced this firsthand when Prime Minister Mitsotakis visited for the 114th Epiphany ceremony – the first time a Greek Prime Minister ever attended – before arriving in Washington to meet with President Trump, Vice President Pence, Secretary of State Pompeo, and members of our Congress.
The Prime Minister’s visit confirmed Tampa’s place as a vibrant element of the Greek diaspora in the United States. The enduring ties of kinship, friendship, and common values between our peoples and societies are the “secret ingredient” that sets our bilateral relationship apart.
The United States looks forward to working with the Greek diaspora, including all of you in Tampa, and with the Greek government on programming to support Greece’s bicentennial in 2021, a celebration of democratic values that legions of Greeks and Americans have pledged to uphold and defend. I vividly remember how important America’s 1976 bicentennial was to shaping our own perceptions as
Americans of what our country stood for and where we were going, and hope 2021 will be the same for Greece.
As we honor Greek independence today despite this difficult moment and look towards the major celebration in 2021, the United States will continue to stand with our trusted ally to ensure that Greece is known not only for its storied past, but also for its bright and prosperous future.