March 25, 2014
Elias Tsekerides, President
Petros Galatoulas, General Chairman
Federation of Hellenic Societies
I take this opportunity to extend warm congratulations to you and the whole Executive Committee for organizing the annual Greek Independence Day Parade.
As we celebrate the 193rd anniversary of Greek Independence after 400 years of occupation by the Ottoman Empire, we are all reminded that 38% of the small island Republic of Cyprus has been under occupation for 40 long years.
It is unbelievable that the International Community has remained silent to the greatest injustice in modern history. Turkey, on the pretext of protecting a small Turkish minority, invaded the Island in 1974, expelled 200,000 Greek Cypriots from their homes, destroyed 500 historical Christian churches and changed the demographics by importing 500,000 colonists from Turkey.
The spirit of 1821 lives in the hearts of the Greek Cypriot people who are fighting to remove 43,000 Turkish troops and return to their ancestral homes.
As we are celebrating our Greek Independence, we are also celebrating the Hellenic values and ideals that are the cornerstone of American Democracy.
We are also commemorating the 40th anniversary of the tragic and barbaric invasion of the Republic of Cyprus. Today we call on freedom loving people to stand up and join the struggle of the Cypriot people for Human Rights and Democratic values.
I salute Greek Independence and I remind everyone that as American citizens have a double obligation because we come from the birthplace of Democracy and we live in the greatest Democracy in the world.
We have promises to keep; promises to our parents and grandparents and more important, to our children and future generations. Let us celebrate Greek Independence by calling for the end of the illegal occupation of Cyprus.
40 Years is Enough!
Justice for Cyprus!