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Message by SAE U.S.A. Region Coordinator, T.G. Spyropoulos, on the 10th anniversary of the September 11th 2001 tragedy

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the tragic day of September 11th 2001 that scarred our souls and “froze” the entire world through images of destruction, broadcast by television networks worldwide. That day changed the world – and every one of us – forever.

Memories are still fresh, and the pain is insurmountable for the thousands of innocent souls, victims to this inconceivable act. This devastating event clearly illustrated the impact of atrocious violence, prejudice, fanaticism, and the vicious cycle of revenge.

SAE U.S.A. Region extends, once again, its solidarity to the thousands of families that experienced the nightmare and are still suffering from the trauma of losing their loved ones. It pays homage to the heroes of that day, who displayed selflessness and self-sacrifice to the fellow human. Those heroic moments are worth the triumphs of a lifetime human ambition.

Over the ten years that passed, mankind experienced major natural disasters, causing enormous losses in lives. Nevertheless, the 9/11 tragedy was a result of human will, a criminal act against humanity and humanism, which, may have triggered the positive emotion of compassion, opening our hearts, but at the same time grafted the negative feeling of fear and insecurity for the fellow human and life, in them.

The rapid changes we experience in our daily lives, the breakdown of structures we were accustomed to, which in reality do not serve humanity, are reinforcing fear. However, fear and prejudice, divide and isolate people, resulting in inactivity.

An antidote to fear and confusion, prevalent today, and the phenomenal political and social dead-ends, are values enveloped in the authentic humanism of Hellenism’s cultural heritage.

And that is why, the recovery and restoration of the Greek “Paideia” (cultural education), should be our utmost priority, as it teaches a way of life, love, solidarity, respect for our fellow human beings, the prevalence of reason, dialogue and peaceful coexistence among peoples.

As Greek – Americans, we possess two advantages; our cultural heritage, in addition to the fact that we are living in the world leading country, which could pave the way for change.

September 11th will never be forgotten. However, let its memory become a stimulus for reflection and intellectual transcendence. Let us first of all realize that we are all as one. We are the cells of the same global community, in which a part affects the whole.

True Democracy and Freedom of man are based on free will, in an individual and collective level. In both levels, we are jointly responsible, not only for the world in which we live in, but also for the world we are shaping together for future generations.

Let us, therefore, become the change we wish to see in the world, transforming fear into optimism and love for life, with prudence and wisdom.

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