Admiral Stavridis
Receives Athenagoras Award

Share |

Archbishop Demetrios of America together with Archons' National Commander, Dr. Anthony J. Limberakis, presented the Athenagoras Human Rights Award to Admiral James G. Stavridis, Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, who accepted on behalf of the heroic members of the United States Armed Forces.

Admiral Stavridis is the highest-ranking Greek American in the history of the United States military. The Award was presented during the annual Human Rights Banquet held at the New York Hilton on October 15, 2011, with over 400 Archons and guests in attendance. As in the past 12 years, National Vice Commander Nicholas J. Booras again generously served as Banquet Underwriter.
Established in 1986, the Athenagoras Human Rights Award is given in honor of Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras, who served as Archbishop of the Americas for 18 years before being elected Ecumenical Patriarch in 1948. He was universally acknowledged as a visionary leader and worked for peace among churches and people throughout his life.

Previous recipients of this prestigious Award have included President Jimmy Carter, President George H.W. Bush, President Mikhail Gorbachev, Elie Wiesel, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mother Teresa, Archbishop Demetrios of America, Archbishop Iakovos and last year's recipient Theodore Cardinal McCarrick.

In accepting the Award, Admiral Stavridis spoke about his family and the values that were instilled in him and particularly about his grandfather who left Asia Minor in the early 20th Century and conveyed his pride for his Hellenic heritage (Stavridis has published a book titled "Destroyer Captain," in which he’s saying that "in the early 1920's, my grandfather, a short, stocky Greek schoolteacher named Dimitrious Stavridis, was expelled from Turkey as part of 'ethnic cleansing' directed against Greeks living in the remains of the Ottoman Empire. He barely escaped with his life in a small boat crossing the Aegean Sea to Athens and thence to Ellis Island. His brother was not so lucky and was killed by the Turks as part of the violence directed at the Greek minority.” Since resuming his duties as NATO Europe Commander Admiral Stavridis has toned down the Turkish persecutions against his family, saying that his ancestors “left” Turkey).

Stavridis also emphasized the humanitarian role of the Armed Forces and highlighted that "it is the duty of the strong to protect those who are weak," adding that "might does not make right" and explaining that "we live in an imperfect world in which human rights sadly are not the norm."

The Banquet Program commenced with a welcome from National Secretary John Halecky, Jr. and greetings were offered by Hon. Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook, Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom. ABC Chief Political Correspondent and Co-Anchor of Good Morning America, Archon George Stephanopoulos, served as Master of Ceremonies and Fox News Chief Congressional Correspondent, Archon Mike Emmanuel, offered the introduction of the dais guests. Chaplains John Kalantzis and Matthews J. Streett assisted, respectively, in the invocation and benediction.

Once again, Archon Theodore D. Demetriou superbly coordinated the Archon weekend activities as banquet chairman, assisted by Archon Konstantine L. Vellios, who donated the beautiful patriotic floral arrangements.


web stats tracker