Proceedings, Debates of the U.S. Congress
February 28, 2007
110th Congress, 1st Session
Issue: Vol. 153, No. 34 — Daily Edition
Entire Issue (PDF)
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. ____________________