US President marks Greece’s National Day at White House alongside Hollywood stars

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US President Joe Biden hosted the traditional Greek Independence Day reception at the White House on Wednesday night.

The event was attended by Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, hundreds of Greek community leaders, Greek American politicians and some well-known Hollywood stars including Rita Wilson, who is of Greek descent, and her husband Tom Hanks.

In his speech on the night, Biden congratulated everyone for celebrating Greek Independence Day and said: “The world owes a great deal of debt to Greece, including the revolutionary idea of a democracy.”

Later, Wilson performed four songs at the reception in the East Room before Biden returned to the stage to praise her and joked that “the only thing I worry about is your taste in men.”

Hanks responded as he joined Biden and Wilson on stage: “No, I am not Greek, but I had the good sense to marry one.”

Greece granted Hanks and Wilson honorary citizenship in 2019 citing their “exceptional services to Greece.”

The White House celebration of Greek Independence was first started by US President Ronald Reagan in 1986 with the help of Father Alex Karloutsos, Tom Korologos and Andy Manatos and has become a White House tradition ever since.

Source: Ekathimerini.

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