The US Embassy in Athens celebrates Independence Day

US Embassy in Athens

The United States embassy in Athens celebrated Independence Day (July 4) on Thursday with more than 1,500 guests.

Sending a resounding message in defence of Ukraine, US Ambassador George Tsunis emphasised that the effort to support Ukraine must not flag.

"We can not let up. While we sit in the safety of our homes talking about solidarity, they are the ones fighting and dying for these principles we hold dear. We cannot be nations of onlookers. We cannot be silent as one country attempts to redraw the boundaries of another by force," Tsunis said.

"So I ask each of you, in ways big and small, to recommit to peace and freedom in a Ukraine that not only survives, but thrives," he added.

The ambassador made a special reference to the recent visit of former US President Barack Obama to Greece, saying that Obama reminded him that every person, both in Greece and in the United States, has a sacred, ongoing obligation to protect democratic values.

At the same time, he underlined the need for equal representation of each gender in power and on company boards.

Likewise, he expressed the hope that those who seek a better life will be able to rebuild it in countries that are free, safe and offer many opportunities. He made special reference to the Antetokounmpo brothers, saying that they are a shining example of what can happen when given opportunities.

He also referred to his parents who emigrated from Greece only with hope and the solid foundations of Greek values, underlining the importance of the Marshall Plan.

"My parents left Greece with nothing but hope and a strong foundation of Greek values. They might not have survived after World War II were it not for the United States, and the Marshall Plan, through which the American people sent Greece over six million tons of food and supplies," he stated.

The US Ambassador also referred to the 110 million displaced people in the world today. "Over half of them are children. When people leave their homes in search of a better life, they want to come to democracies. It isn't just because of the freedom democracies provide. It's because democracies offer better, richer, safer lives."

And he added: "We don’t see people risking their lives trying to migrate to Russia, North Korea, Venezuela, or Iran. Iran doesn’t have an immigration problem. Democracies like ours, on the other hand, are a beacon, a lighthouse on the shore."

"Democracy only works when it works for all... When I say all, I mean inclusion for LGBTQI+ folks, who still strive for equality, including the right to marry and raise children. May we soon see a day where all people can love who they love, be who they are, and be accepted by their communities.

"When I say all, I mean supporting children with special needs, who yearn for the academic rigor, sport, friendship, and opportunity inclusive education brings. Inclusion is not just a selfless act. When everyone is seen, heard, valued, and nurtured, our economies grow faster and more agile."

READ MORE: Turkish Media to Kemalist leader Kılıçdaroğlu: "Resign like Tsipras".

Copyright Greekcitytimes 2024