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AHI Celebrates 55th Anniversary Of Truman Doctrine Of Aid To Greece -- A Turning Point In World History
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: CHRYSOULA ECONOMOPOULOS
March 18, 2002 No. 12/02 (202) 785-8430

AHI Celebrates 55th Anniversary Of Truman Doctrine Of Aid To Greece -- A Turning Point In World History

WASHINGTON, DC -- On March 12, 2002, the American Hellenic Institute (AHI) commemorated the 55th Anniversary of the Truman Doctrine of Aid to Greece -- a turning point in world history -- with a luncheon event at the Capital Hilton Hotel. The event featured special guest speaker General Andrew J. Goodpaster, USA (Ret.), former Supreme Commander of NATO.

Commenting from the standpoint of the organization which he served in during the Doctrine's implementation period (Plans and Operations Division of the War Department), General Goodpaster focused on the threat to Allied and, more specifically, to Greek independence and democracy, and the response to these threats. This was a turning point not just in the history of the twentieth century, but a turning point in American history and in the history of America's relationship with Europe.

General Goodpaster commented on the pivotal role played by Greece in turning the tide of World War II:

"To comprehend the depth and the scope of the crisis in Greece, it's necessary to look back to World War II and, specifically, to the heroic role that Greece had played in that war and to the fearful toll that its valiant stand in defiance of Hitler had taken. The story is familiar, but it bears repetition. It must not be forgotten. But this campaign [into Greece by the German forces] delayed Hitler's attack on Russia, a delay that very well may have tipped the scale against German victory in Russia. That delay was everything."

Notable in General Goodpaster's remarks were his comparison of the threats to the world order faced during and after World War II, and the threats faced currently in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks. Highlighting the importance of collective and cohesive action among nations both then and now, General Goodpaster stated:

"It was 55 years ago today that President Truman enunciated the doctrine that bears his name. The doctrine that constituted, as it was carried out, truly a turning point in history. It's especially significant as we recall those times and those activities in the light of the events of last September 11 after that assault was made on America and on the international order that we have come to appreciate and benefit from. It was an assault on the lives and the livelihood of our people and on peace and freedom as the governing principles on which our own country should operate on and on which the international order should be formed."

Also discussed was the Marshall Plan's crucial role in Europe's recovery and in helping to engender stability and security for those nations in which it was applied. Through the implementation of the Marshall Plan and the creation of NATO, "a collective force had been created, bringing about stable security in its most basic sense -- the safety of the people of our countries." 

Delivering opening welcome remarks was AHI Founder Gene Rossides, who recounted General Goodpaster's outstanding military and public service to the nation and called him an "American icon." The Greek Embassy's new Deputy Chief of Mission, Eleftherios Anghelopoulos and former U.S. Ambassador to Greece Robert Keeley were among the dignitaries in attendance. 

For additional information, including digital photos of the event, please contact Chrysoula Economopoulos at (202) 785-8430 or [email protected]. Atranscript of General Goodpaster's speech is attached (click here). For general information regarding the mission and activities of AHI, please visit our website athttp://www.ahiworld.org.