AHEPA Commemorates 70th Anniversary of the Marshall Plan

AHEPA Supreme President Andrew Zachariades. Photo: TNH

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (Order of AHEPA), the leading association of American citizens of Greek heritage and Philhellenes, commemorates the 70th anniversary of the Marshall Plan in a statement issued by Supreme President Andrew C. Zachariades:

“This week, 70 years ago, Secretary of State George C. Marshall called for a U.S. economic aid program to restore the economic infrastructure of postwar Europe that would be known as the Marshall Plan. Marshall’s generous $706 million aid program to Greece helped bring economic and social recovery and prosperity after World War II and the Greek Civil War.

“In appreciation and in honor of a great American solider, statesman, humanitarian, and Philhellene, AHEPA erected the George C. Marshall Statue on the grounds of the U.S. Embassy in Athens in October 2000. The statue is a fitting monument to the strength and endurance of the U.S.-Greece relationship. The American Hellenic community is grateful to George C. Marshall and to all those who helped to make his vision for humanitarian aid for Europe, and especially Greece, a reality.”

At the October 12, 2000 dedication of the Marshall Statue, then-Supreme President Johnny N. Economy said: “I find it interesting that we are honoring a warrior who could have taken the route of ‘to the victor goes the spoils’ but who instead embraced the Hellenic principles of philanthropy and philoxenia to help the world recover from the terrible years of war. In dedicating the statue tonight we should pause and understand that our commitment to the things George Marshall has done should not end here. Perhaps we should recommit ourselves to those Hellenic principles of philanthropy and philoxenia in our everyday lives.”

In his remarks, then-U.S. Ambassador to Greece R. Nicholas Burns commented that Marshall was the American who did the most good for Greece and the Greek people in the twentieth century.

“The powerful memory of our shared past, over 180 years of history, unites us here this evening,” Ambassador Burns said. “As we look to that past there is no event more important, more compelling, and more decisive for both of our peoples than the Marshall Plan and its lasting impact on Greece.”

Through the AHEPA Centennial Foundation, Inc., the AHEPA family raised $110,000 to complete the Marshall Statue.

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Founded in 1922 in Atlanta, Georgia, on the principles that undergirded its fight for civil rights and against discrimination, bigotry, and hatred felt at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan, AHEPA is the largest and oldest grassroots association of American citizens of Greek heritage and Philhellenes with more than 400 chapters across the United States, Canada, and Europe.

AHEPA’s mission is to promote the ancient Greek ideals of Education, Philanthropy, Civic Responsibility, and Family and Individual Excellence through community service and volunteerism.

For more information, please visit www.ahepa.org.