06-R 147

2006 -- S 2955

Enacted 03/21/06


S E N A T E  R E S O L U T I O N





     Introduced By: Senators Raptakis, Walaska, Gallo, Paiva-Weed, and McBurney

     Date Introduced: March 21, 2006



     WHEREAS, On March 25, 1821, the Feast Day of the Annunciation, the Greek nation

reclaimed its ancient heritage as the “Cradle of Democracy” by throwing off the yoke of

oppression which had enslaved its people since the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Conquered by

the Ottoman Turks in the 15th century, Greece waged a successful War of Independence (1821-

1829) and reinstituted a democratic form of government; and

     WHEREAS, The Parthenon is unique to Greece and is the pre-eminent monument of

western civilization; and

     WHEREAS, When Greece was under foreign rule, more than 100 Marbles were removed

from the Parthenon by Lord Elgin in 1801 and taken to London, England, and the return of the

Marbles will lift the spiritual well-being of the Greek people; and

     WHEREAS, The Olympic Games came home in August 2004 to Athens, Greece, the

land of their ancient birthplace; and

     WHEREAS, It was the genius of Greece which first ignited the flame of freedom in the

6th and 5th centuries B.C., when Athens introduced the idea of direct representative government to

the world, thus ushering in a Golden Age of art, architecture, philosophy and drama under such

giants of western history as Pericles, Sophocles, Euripides, Socrates and Plato; and

     WHEREAS, The Founding Fathers of the United States of America drew extensively

upon the political experience and philosophy of ancient Greece in forming our representative

democracy; and

     WHEREAS, It is proper and desirable to celebrate with the Greek people and to reaffirm

the democratic principles from which our two great nations were born; and

     WHEREAS, The Theological School of Halki is an educational institution for Orthodox

Christianity in Turkey, but it was tragically closed in 1971 by Turkish authorities under a law

requiring that higher education in religion and military training be controlled by the state; and

     WHEREAS, Congress passed a resolution expressing that the Orthodox Theological

School of Halki in the Republic of Turkey must be reopened in order to promote religious

freedom; and

     WHEREAS, Turkey should restore Hagia Sophia, an essential element of Christianity, a

second Jerusalem and the most revolutionary and daring Church conceived in Christendom,

which has been turned into a museum, and should be returned to its original purpose as a church;


     WHEREAS, Greece, located in a region where Christianity meets Islam and Judaism,

maintains excellent relations with Muslim nations; and

     WHEREAS, President George W. Bush, in recognizing Greek Independence Day, said,

"Greece and America have been firm allies in the great struggles for liberty. Americans will

always remember Greek heroism and Greek sacrifice for the sake of freedom . . . [and] as the 21st

Century dawns, Greece and America once again stand united; this time in the fight against

terrorism. The United States deeply appreciates the role Greece is playing in the war against

terror. . . . America and Greece are strong allies, and we're strategic partners"; and

     WHEREAS, Greece is one of the only three nations in the world, beyond the former

British Empire, that has been allied with the United States in every major international conflict

this century; now, therefore be it

     RESOLVED, That this Senate of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations

hereby celebrates March 25, 2006 as the 185th Anniversary of Greek Independence and reaffirms

Rhode Island’s abiding commitment to the magnificent principles of democracy and religious

freedom; and be it further

     RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and he hereby is authorized and directed to

transmit duly certified copies of this resolution to the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church of

Cranston, the Assumption Greek Orthodox Church of Pawtucket and St. Spyridon Greek

Orthodox Church of Newport.