On April 1, 2021, Archbishop Elpidophoros of America received the Proclamation of Greek Independence from the City of Nashville from Mayor John Cooper at the Parthenon in Nashville during the event that was hosted by the National Coordinating Committee.
In his speech, the Archbishop thanked both the State authorities and the citizens for this special commemoration of the Bicentennial of the Greek Revolution. He also said that he was praying for those who lost their lives and all those affected by the floods.
In addition, the Archbishop referred to his emotion and pride saying: “Standing here, in front of the only full-scale replica of the Parthenon in the world, I feel an overwhelming sense of pride. That here in this City – the heartland of America – such appreciation and love for Greece should be expressed so manifestly, is deeply moving and inspiring.”
Speaking about the history of the monument, the Archbishop referred to Greece’s petition for the return of the Parthenon Marbles, stressing: “You are keeping alive the quest to return these historic treasures to the Greek People and to the Acropolis, where they belong. Let Nashville and her Parthenon be the megaphone that tells the world: The Parthenon Marbles deserve to go home!”.
Earlier, Archbishop Elpidophoros of America met the Governor of Tennessee, Gov. Bill Lee, at the State Capitol in Nashville.
They discussed the important topic of Religious Freedom and the history of Nashville as the “Athens of the South.”
The Archbishop presented the Governor with a commemorative coin celebrating the Bicentennial of the Greek Revolution and a silver icon of the Holy Trinity.
On behalf of the State of Tennessee, the Governor presented a Proclamation celebrating Greek Independence Day to the Archbishop and the Ambassador of Greece, Alexandra Papadopoulou.
Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit, Father Peter Spiro of the Holy Trinity Parish, and George Anderson also attended the meeting.