R 171
2019 -- S 0730
Enacted 03/26/2019

S E N A T E   R E S O L U T I O N

Introduced By: Senators Raptakis, Euer, Ruggerio, Gallo, and Nesselbush
Date Introduced: March 26, 2019

     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, The people of the United States generously offered humanitarian assistance
to the Greek people during their struggle for independence; and
     WHEREAS, The price for Greece in holding onto our common values in their region was
high, as hundreds of thousands of civilians were killed in Greece during World War II; and
     WHEREAS, Greece is one of only three nations in the world, beyond the former British
Empire, that has been allied with the United States in every major international conflict over the
last 100 years; and
     WHEREAS, Greece, located in a region where Christianity meets Islam and Judaism,
maintains excellent relations with Muslim nations and Israel, and demonstrates religious
tolerance; and
     WHEREAS, The Ancient Macedonians were Hellenes and the northern Province of
Greece, Macedonia, are their Hellenic descendants; and
     WHEREAS, Greece and the United States are at the forefront of the effort for freedom,
democracy, peace, stability, and human rights; and
     WHEREAS, Over the past year, the United States has significantly increased its
engagement with Greece in the maritime sector. In partnership with the Greek shipping fleet, the
United States is helping Greece and all of Southeast Europe ensure energy independence; and
     WHEREAS, March 25, 2019, Greek Independence Day, marks the 198th Anniversary of
the beginning of the revolution that freed the Greek people from the Ottoman Empire and
celebrates the aspirations for democracy and tolerance that the people of Greece and the United
States share; and
     WHEREAS, The role of United States innovation and technology in Greece's shipping
sector where ONEX also announced its additional plans for other operations here in Greece were
highlighted at the 2018 Thessaloniki International Fair; and
     WHEREAS, In December of 2018, at the United States-Greece Strategic Dialogue, it was
clear that both nations, along with their EU partners, are united in their belief that Greece is a
pillar of stability in a region that stretches from the Black sea to the Mediterranean and on to the
Persian Gulf that is vital to United States Interests; and
     WHEREAS, In September of 2018, the United States participation as the host nation in
the Greek City of Thessaloniki in the 83rd Thessaloniki International Trade Fair, under the
auspices of United States Ambassador Geoffrey R. Pyatt, highlighted a landmark event in Greek-
United States relations and an economic partnership between the two nations; and
     WHEREAS, The United States Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, stressed during the
energy conference organized by the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce (AmCham), that
the presence of major American companies at the TIF is a sign of trust in the future of Greece's
economy and of America's desire to be a part of it; and
     WHEREAS, It is proper and desirable for the United States to celebrate this Anniversary
with the Greek people and to reaffirm the democratic principles from which these two great
nations were born; now, therefore be it
     RESOLVED, That this Senate of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
hereby celebrates March 25, 2019, as the 198th Anniversary of Greek Independence, reaffirms
Rhode island's abiding commitment to the magnificent principles of democracy and religious
freedom, and urges Turkey to respects the rights and religious freedoms of the Ecumenical
Patriarchate; and be it further
     RESOLVED, That this Senate commends Greece as it assumes an increasing leadership
role in resolving long-standing diplomatic issues in its neighborhood, and we affirm our common
vision to integrate the countries of the region firmly in European and Euro-Atlantic institutions;
     RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and 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, the member of the Rhode Island Congressional Delegation, the
Honorable Stratos Efthymiou, Consul General of the Hellenic Republic in Boston, and
Archbishop Demtrios of the Greek Archdiocese of America.