SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 14--COMMEMORATING THE 85TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE FOUNDING OF THE AMERICAN HELLENIC EDUCATIONAL PROGRESSIVE ASSOCIATION, A LEADING ASSOCIATION FOR THE 1,300,000 UNITED...
(Senate - February 28, 2007)

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[Pages S2378-S2379]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 14--COMMEMORATING THE 85TH ANNIVERSARY OF 
     THE FOUNDING OF THE AMERICAN HELLENIC EDUCATIONAL PROGRESSIVE 
  ASSOCIATION, A LEADING ASSOCIATION FOR THE 1,300,000 UNITED STATES 
    CITIZENS OF GREEK ANCESTRY AND PHILHELLENES IN THE UNITED STATES

  Ms. SNOWE (for herself and Mr. Menendez) submitted the following 
concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the 
Judiciary:

                            S. Con. Res. 14

       Whereas the American Hellenic Educational Progressive 
     Association (AHEPA) was founded on July 26, 1922, in Atlanta, 
     Georgia, by 8 visionary Greek immigrants to help unify, 
     organize, and protect against the bigotry, discrimination, 
     and defamation faced by people of all ethnic, racial, and 
     religious backgrounds perpetrated predominantly by the Ku 
     Klux Klan;
       Whereas the mission of AHEPA is to promote the ideals of 
     ancient Greece, which include philanthropy, education, civic 
     responsibility, and family and individual excellence through 
     community service and volunteerism;
       Whereas, since its inception, AHEPA has instilled in its 
     members an understanding of their Hellenic heritage and an 
     awareness of the contributions made by Greece to the 
     development of democratic principles and governance in the 
     United States and throughout the world;
       Whereas AHEPA has done much throughout its history to 
     foster patriotism in the United States;
       Whereas members of AHEPA have served in the Armed Forces to 
     protect the freedom of the United States and to preserve the 
     democratic ideals that are part of the Hellenic legacy;
       Whereas, in World War II, members of AHEPA were parachuted 
     behind enemy lines in Nazi-occupied Greece to help liberate 
     the country;
       Whereas AHEPA raised more than $253,000,000 for United 
     States war bonds during World War II, for which AHEPA was 
     named an official Issuing Agent for United States War Bonds 
     by the Department of Treasury, an honor that no other civic 
     organization was able to achieve at the time;
       Whereas the members of AHEPA donated $612,000 for the 
     restoration of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, New 
     York, for which AHEPA received special recognition by the 
     Department of the Interior;
       Whereas the AHEPA National Housing Program was awarded 
     $500,000,000 by the Department of Housing and Urban 
     Development for its Section 202 Program, which has yielded 
     4,370 units in 80 properties across 21 States and 49 cities 
     and has provided dignified, affordable housing to senior 
     citizens;
       Whereas AHEPA was recognized by the Department of State as 
     an organization that has engaged in ``Track Two Diplomacy'' 
     to foster reconciliation and rapprochement in the Eastern 
     Mediterranean, which is in the best interest of the United 
     States;
       Whereas members of AHEPA raised $110,000 for the George C. 
     Marshall Statue to be erected on the grounds of the United 
     States Embassy in Athens, Greece, in celebration of the 
     historic relationship between the United States and Greece, 
     and in tribute to an outstanding statesman and Philhellene, 
     General Marshall;
       Whereas AHEPA financially supports scholarships, 
     educational chairs, medical research, and countless other 
     charitable and philanthropic causes by contributing more than 
     $2,000,000 annually from its national, district, and local 
     levels collectively;
       Whereas, in the spirit of their Hellenic heritage and in 
     commemoration of the Centennial Olympic Games held in 
     Atlanta, Georgia, members of AHEPA raised $775,000 for the 
     Tribute to Olympism Sculpture, the fan-like structure of 
     which helped to save lives during the bombing at Centennial 
     Olympic Park;
       Whereas members of AHEPA have been Presidents and Vice 
     Presidents of the United States, United States Senators and 
     Representatives, and United States Ambassadors, and have 
     served honorably as elected officials at the local and State 
     levels throughout the United States; and
       Whereas President George H.W. Bush cited AHEPA as one of 
     the ``thousand points of light'': Now, therefore, be it
       Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives 
     concurring), That the Congress--
       (1) recognizes the significant contributions of United 
     States citizens of Hellenic heritage to the United States;
       (2) commemorates the 85th anniversary of the founding of 
     the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association 
     (AHEPA), applauds its mission, and commends the

[[Page S2379]]

     many charitable contributions of its members to communities 
     around the world; and
       (3) encourages the people of the United States to observe 
     the 85th anniversary of the founding of AHEPA and celebrate 
     its many accomplishments.

  Ms. SNOWE. Mr. President, this year marks the 85th anniversary of the 
founding of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association, 
AHEPA. I rise today to submit with my colleague, Senator Menendez, a 
concurrent resolution honoring AHEPA's history of service, not only to 
Americans of Greek descent, but to Americans of all backgrounds and to 
the United States itself.
  AHEPA was founded in 1922 to combat the bigotry encountered by Greek 
immigrants to this country, and to assist these new Americans with 
building and protecting their livelihoods in our great Nation. Eighty-
five years later--decades in which generations of Greek-Americans 
worked tirelessly in commerce and fought patriotically on the 
battlefield to make the United States the prosperous and peaceful land 
it is today--AHEPA continues its mission to promote the shared Hellenic 
and American values of education, philanthropy, civic responsibility, 
and family and individual excellence.
  This is more than a mission statement, it is a commitment to action 
that has been fulfilled time and again. AHEPA today awards more than 
half a million dollars in academic scholarships annually. Its 
philanthropic efforts have contributed to the restoration of the Statue 
of Liberty and Ellis Island. It has enhanced the civic participation of 
its members and other U.S. citizens through seminars and conferences on 
key domestic and international policy issues. And, together with three 
affiliated organizations--the Daughters of Penelope, the Sons of 
Pericles and the Maids of Athena--AHEPA has contributed to over a 
billion dollars in funding for youth- and family-focused projects 
across the country.
  As the first Greek-American woman elected to both the House and 
Senate, I am often reminded that the connection between the U.S. 
Congress and the Greek people is not limited to the Greek Americans who 
have served as members, or the foreign policy issues debated in its 
halls. Rather, the very inspiration for the Congress as a legislative 
body are the democratic chambers of ancient Greece.
  The myriad ties between our two countries--be they cultural, economic 
or geopolitical--comprise a bond that can and should only strengthen. 
AHEPA's long record of service to Greek-Americans and their countrymen 
are both a testament and critical component of that historical bond. It 
is accordingly an honor and a pleasure to submit this concurrent 
resolution recognizing the accomplishments of AHEPA's first 85 years. 
May there be many, many more.

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