Thursday, March 26, 2009

Obama Joins Greek Independence Day Celebration

The president and Vice President Joe Biden welcomed a multitude of guests to the White House Wednesday to celebrate Greek Independence Day. Among the guests of honor were Ambassador of Greece in the US, Alexandros Malias, the head of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, Archbishop Demetrios, and many other notable Greeks and Greek-Americans. President Barack Obama mentioned in his speech that "founders were students of Greek history and turned to ancient texts for allies" while Archibishop Demetrios noted that "Greece and the USA share values of freedom and democracy" and stated that he prays strongly for the first family. He also compared the President with Alexander the Great, saying the President should follow the example of the ancient military conqueror to help solve some of Greece’s problems.

The President responded, "I will tell Michelle that I’ve been compared to Alexander the Great, I will see whether that gets me a little more respect at home. At home she knows she’s still the boss." The event started at 5pm in Washington, D.C. and included many Greek culinary specialties. A special guest at the White House Kitchen was Greek Chef Michael Psilakis, who prepared Greek dishes such as raw mezze of tuna with feta dust and pickled raw and dehydrated watermelon; open goat moussaka; braised snails with rabbit confit and halvah. Psilakis is the first outside chef that was invited to cook for an event in the White House by this administration.

Last night President Obama proclaimed March 25, 2009, as "Greek Independence Day: A National Day of Celebration of Greek and American Democracy".

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