The AHEPAN - Winter/Spring 2010 - 5
AhepA FAmily News
Photos: Eleftherios Kostans
Above: The White House as night approaches. At Left: (L-R): Archbishop Demetrios, Prime Minister Papandreou and President Obama at the podium during the ceremony.
AHEPA Family Celebrates Greek Independence Day at the White House
The AHEPA family celebrated Greek Independence Day at the White House on March 9, 2010. Supreme President Nicholas A. Karacostas, Grand President Elaine M. Sampanis, Sons of Pericles Supreme President Dean Tselepis, and Maids of Athena Grand President Sia Zois were joined by Chairman of the Board Franklin Manios, Supreme Vice President Dr. John Grossomanides Jr., Supreme Secretary Anthony Kouzounis, Supreme Treasurer Col. Nick Vamvakias, Executive Director Basil Mossaidis, and Daughters of Penelope Executive Director Elena Saviolakis at the ceremony. President Barack Obama, Prime Minister George Papandreou, and His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios provided remarks. “The AHEPA family appreciates President Obama hosting this memorable event to honor Greek Independence for the Greek American community,” Karacostas said. “The ceremony is important because it serves to reaffirm the values and ideals shared between the United States and Greece that are based on a common foundation, democracy.” In his remarks, President Obama spoke of his fondness for the Greek concept of “philotimo.” “Philotimo. Literally, it translates as “love of honor.” I love that concept -- love of honor. But, of course, it means much more than that,” he said. “It’s a sense of love, to family, and to community, and to country -- the notion that what we’re here on this Earth to do is to be all in this together.” The president also commented on that day’s announcement of Greece’s designation in the Visa Waiver program, citing it as continuing example of the solidarity that exists between the United States and Greece. “This solidarity continues today — whether it’s the close counterterrorism efforts between our governments or the deep partnerships between our people,” said President Obama. “Indeed, as the Prime Minister and I discussed this afternoon, Greece’s participation in the Visa Waiver Program will strengthen security in both our countries -- and whether it’s to do business or visit family and friends, it will now be easier for our Greek friends to visit the United States.” To view a video of the White House celebration and to download a transcript, please visit www.whitehouse.gov.