2007 -- S 0853

Enacted 03/14/07


S E N A T E  R E S O L U T I O N





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

     Date Introduced: March 14, 2007


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

reclaimed its ancient heritage as the "Cradle of Democracy" by overthrowing 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 re-instituted a democratic form of government; 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, Euripedes, 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, 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 liberty 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 only one of three nations in the world, beyond the former British

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

100 years; and

     WHEREAS, United States Under-Secretary of State Nicholas Burns thanked the Greek

Government and its people for their help in Afghanistan. The combat engineers and medical

personnel Greece sent to Afghanistan have played a crucial role in defeating terrorism and

helping to create a stable democracy in Afghanistan; and

     WHEREAS, Historically the Greeks have been persecuted by the Turkish government.

Greeks living in Turkey have had their basic rights and freedoms taken away from them and that

kind of persecution continues today; and

     WHEREAS, The Government of Turkey refuses to recognize the rights and religious

freedoms of Ecumenical Patriarchate, the head of Greek Orthodox Christian Church, which is a

minority religion in Turkey; now, therefore be it

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

hereby celebrates March 25, 2007 as the 186th Anniversary of Greek Independence, reaffirms

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

freedom, and urges Turkey to respect the rights and religious freedoms of the Ecumenical

Patriarchate; 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, the St. Spyridon Greek

Orthodox Church of Newport, and the members of the Rhode Island Congressional Delegation

and to Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Archdiocese of America.