The celebration event was hosted by the Archdiocesan Bicentennial National Coordinating Committee with His Eminence receiving a Proclamation of Greek Independence from the City of Nashville from Mayor John Cooper.
The Archbishop and the Mayor were also joined by His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit and George Horiates, the Supreme President of AHEPA. The event took place at the Parthenon in Nashville and was streamed live.
The Greek Bicentennial event started with the National Anthem of Greece sung by teacher Anna Maria Miller and Nashville musician Damien Horne following with the United States National Anthem.
“We honor Hellenic tradition and today we honor the heroes of 1821,” Mayor Cooper said. “We honor the language and culture and faith of the Greek people who refused to surrender after hundreds of years of brutal occupation.,” he added.
“Long live the heroes of 1821, and long live Greece, and so it is proclaimed by the City of Nashville,” were Mayor Cooper’s concluding words on the Greek Bicentennial.
Greek Ambassador Papadopoulou took the podium and praised the poor heroes of the Greek War of Independence who “were determined to live free or die.”
The Ambassador also praised the Greek Diaspora which “then as always were at the forefront of this struggle” and the Greek Church that nurtured the ideals of the Revolution.
The Greek diplomat also spoke of the American philhellenes, highlighting the correspondence between Thomas Jefferson and Adamantios Korais.
Archbishop Elpidophoros spoke about the magnificent actual-size replica of the Parthenon he was standing in front of, saying that it signifies the love of Nashville for Classical Greece and that the city rightly deserves the title of “Athens of the South.”
His Eminence spoke of the common bond of the fight for independence shared by Greece and the United States, saying that Greece’s March 25th is America’s 4th of July.