Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0265
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Full Text of HR0265  95th General Assembly



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2     WHEREAS, The ancient Greeks developed the concept of
3 democracy, in which the supreme power to govern was vested in
4 the people; and
5     WHEREAS, On March 25, 1821, the Feast Day of the
6 Annunciation, the Greek nation reclaimed its ancient heritage
7 as the "Cradle of Democracy" by throwing off the yoke of
8 oppression which had enslaved its people since the fall of
9 Constantinople in 1453; conquered by the Ottoman Turks in the
10 15th century, Greece waged a successful War of Independence
11 (1821-1829) and reinstituted a democratic form of government;
12 and
13     WHEREAS, Greece celebrates two important events in its
14 history on March 25, the beginning of the revolution that freed
15 the Greek people from the Ottoman Empire, and the Greek
16 Orthodox Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary;
17 and
18     WHEREAS, It was for that reason that on March 25, 1821,
19 Bishop Germanos of Patras chose that day to deliver a message
20 of a new life to the people of Greece and hoisted the Greek
21 flag in defiance of the Turks at the Monastery of Ayia Lavra
22 near Kalavrita; and



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1     WHEREAS, The Founding Fathers of the United States drew
2 heavily on the political experience and philosophy of ancient
3 Greece in forming our representative democracy; and
4     WHEREAS, Greek Commander in Chief Petros Mavromichalis, a
5 founder of the modern Greek state, said to the citizens of the
6 United States in 1821 that "it is in your land that liberty has
7 fixed her abode and in imitating you, we shall imitate our
8 ancestors and be thought worthy of them if we succeed in
9 resembling you"; and
10     WHEREAS, Greece played a major role in the World War II
11 struggle to protect freedom and democracy through such bravery
12 as was shown in the historic Battle of Crete, which provided
13 the Axis land war with its first major setback, setting off a
14 chain of events that significantly affected the outcome of
15 World War II; and
16     WHEREAS, The price for Greece in holding our common values
17 in their region was high as hundreds of thousands of civilians
18 were killed in Greece during World War II; and
19     WHEREAS, Throughout the 20th century, Greece was 1 of only
20 3 countries in the world beyond the former British Empire that
21 allied with the United States in every major international
22 conflict; and



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1     WHEREAS, Greece is a strategic partner and ally of the
2 United States in bringing political stability and economic
3 development to the volatile Balkan region, having invested over
4 $10,000,000,000 in the region; and
5     WHEREAS, Greece was extraordinarily responsive to requests
6 by the United States during the war in Iraq, as Greece
7 immediately granted unlimited access to its airspace and the
8 base in Souda Bay, and many ships of the United States that
9 delivered troops, cargo, and supplies to Iraq were refueled in
10 Greece; and
11     WHEREAS, In August 2004, the Olympic games came home to
12 Athens, Greece, the land of their ancient birthplace 2,500
13 years ago, and the city of their modern revival in 1896; and
14     WHEREAS, Greece received world-wide praise for its
15 extraordinary handling of over 14,000 athletes from 202
16 countries and over 2,000,000 spectators and journalists during
17 the 2004 Olympics, which it did so efficiently, securely, and
18 with its famous Greek hospitality; and
19     WHEREAS, The unprecedented security effort in Greece for
20 the first Olympics to be held after the attacks on the United
21 States on September 11, 2001, included a record-setting



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1 expenditure of over $1,390,000,000 and an assignment of over
2 70,000 security personnel, as well as the utilization of an
3 8-country Olympic Security Advisory Group that included the
4 United States; and
5     WHEREAS, Greece, located in a region where Christianity
6 meets Islam and Judaism, maintains excellent relations with
7 both Muslim nations and Israel; and
8     WHEREAS, the Government of Greece has had extraordinary
9 success in recent years in furthering cross-cultural
10 understanding and reducing tensions between themselves and
11 Turkey; and
12     WHEREAS, Greece and the United States are at the forefront
13 of the effort for freedom, democracy, peace, stability, and
14 human rights; and
15     WHEREAS, Those ideals, as well as others, have forged a
16 close bond between these 2 nations and their peoples; and
17     WHEREAS, March 25, 2007, marks the 186th anniversary of the
18 beginning of the revolution that freed the Greek people from
19 the nearby Ottoman Empire; and
20     WHEREAS, It is proper and desirable to celebrate this



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1 anniversary with the Greek people and to reaffirm the
2 democratic principles from which these two great nations were
3 born; therefore, be it
6 designate March 25, 2007 as Greek Independence Day and
7 encourage the people of the State of Illinois to observe the
8 day with appropriate ceremonies and activities; and be it
9 further
10     RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
11 presented to the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago, the
12 Consul General of Greece in Chicago, and ENOSIS, The Federation
13 of Hellenic-American Organizations in Illinois.