R 143
2021 -- H 6166
Enacted 03/25/2021

H O U S E   R E S O L U T I O N

Introduced By: Representatives McNamara, Casimiro, Carson, Shekarchi, Blazejewski, Filippi, Fenton-Fung, Alzate, Ackerman, and Tanzi

Date Introduced: March 25, 2021

     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 the people of Greece to hold onto their 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 and the 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, Many American Philhellenes participated and fought in the Greek War of
Independence. One such individual was George Wilson from Providence, Rhode Island, who
served as a gunman in the Greek fleet, most notably in the battle against the Turkish navy in
Nafpaktos Bay, Greece; and
     WHEREAS, The United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Greece on
October 4, 2019, where he met with Greek leaders and together they signed the Mutual Defense
Corporation Agreement MDCA); and
     WHEREAS, Turkey has continued to destabilize the Aegean Sea and the Eastern
Mediterranean Sea region. As a result, Greece, Israel and Cyprus have formed a trilateral
cooperation agreement against the aggressive regional policies of Turkey. Each country’s strong
relationship with the United States, as well as the prospect of an Eastern Mediterranean pipeline
enabling safe transmission of gas to Western Europe are critical to security and energy stability.
Passage of the Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act of 2019 will facilitate
energy and security cooperation between the United States, Greece, Cyprus and Israel; and
     WHEREAS, A high-level review of the United States-Greece Strategic Dialogue took
place in Greece on September 28, 2020, which underscored Greece’s importance to the United
States as a geostrategic partner in the Eastern Mediterranean and Balkans and as an important
NATO ally; and
     WHEREAS, In support of the Greece 2021 Committee established by the Government of
Greece, the United States Mission in Greece has launched a campaign to celebrate the
bicentennial of the Independence of Greece and the 200 years of friendship between the United
States and Greece; 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 House of Representatives of the State of Rhode Island hereby
celebrates March 25, 2021, as the 200th 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 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, members of the Rhode Island Congressional delegation, the
Honorable Stratos Efthymiou, Consul General of the Hellenic Republic in Boston, Archbishop
Elpidophoros of the Greek Archdiocese of America.