Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and thank you, Ms. Ros-Lehtinen, for offering this resolution. I rise today as a proud member of the Congressional Hellenic Caucus to offer my strong support for H. Res. 273, celebrating the 188th anniversary of Greek Independence Day. I am proud to follow other members of this caucus and agree with their wonderful comments about this special occasion.
My grandfather, Arthur Costandinos Cathones, for whom I am named, came to America from Greece in 1911 and instilled in me a love of Greece and Greek Culture. The Hellenic values he taught me have served me well as guiding principles throughout my career in public service. And he would be so proud to see me today on the floor of the U.S. House. I have been blessed with this wonderful heritage throughout my life. I have enjoyed visiting Greece a number of times to learn firsthand about the birthplace of democracy. These trips have given me a deep understanding of the country’s regions, its mythologies, its history, its food, its music, and especially, its people.
The U.S. and Greece have always shared a special bond. When the new democracy was formed in Greece, they charged themselves with imitating and resembling American democracy, just like our forefathers shaped our democracy around the ideals of Aristotle and Socrates. Those are the very principles of government I teach in my political science classes at UNLV.
Mr. Speaker, I look forward to celebrating this holiday tomorrow with leaders of the Hellenic community and the President of the United States. And I look forward to working to further strengthen the relationship between the United States and the wonderful Hellenic Republic of Greece.