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Greek Independence Celebration at The White House
For the 31st consecutive year, the President of the United States met with the Greek Orthodox Archbishop of America and Greek-American leaders on the occasion of the commemoration of Greek Independence Day. The Irish-American community (one in 7 Americans) and the Greek-American community (one half of one percent of Americans) are the only two ethnic groups that have such an annual meeting with the President.
White House Chief of Staff and proud Greek-American and Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate Reince Priebus, introduced President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Archbishop Demetrios during the formal program. President Trump spoke, followed by Archbishop Demetrios and then President Trump signed a Presidential Proclamation proclaiming March 25, 2017 as “Greek Independence Day: A Celebration of Greek and American Democracy.”
Greece was represented by Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos and the Ambassador of Greece to the US Haris Lalacos. Cyprus was represented by Cyprus Government Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides and the Ambassador of Cyprus to the US Leonidas Pantelides.
Over 400 guests attended. New this year were Greek bouzouki music that greeted visitors as they entered the White House and Greek youth dancers in traditional costumes dancing in the hallways.
Following this event, the National Hellenic Society (NHS) hosted a reception for its members and friends at the Trump Hotel blocks away, where Archbishop Demetrios and Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit spoke.