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Greek Independence Day 2010: Parade PHOTOS, History, White House Remarks (VIDEO)

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Greek Independence Day is being celebrated today, March 25, 2010, in Greece and around the world.

Today marks the 189th anniversary of the start of Greece's war against the occupying Ottoman Empire in 1821. It coincides with the Greek Orthodox Church's celebration of the Annunciation to the Theotokos, when the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, per Britannica Online.

Independence Day festivities in Greece included flag parades at schools in towns and villages across the country and the annual military parade in Athens.

Tanks and jets were cut from the military parade this year due to the Greek financial crisis, the AP reports.

Here are photos from that event (scroll down for White House statement and video below):

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The White House released the following proclamation from President Barack Obama recognizing "Greek Independence Day":

Today, as we commemorate the 189th anniversary of Greece's independence, we reaffirm the ties that link our nations together as allies and warm friends. We also honor the accomplishments of Greek Americans and their immeasurable contributions to the United States.

It was the genius of America's forebears to enshrine the pre-eminent idea of democracy in our Nation's founding documents. Inspired by the governing values of ancient Greece, they launched the great American experiment. Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of our Declaration of Independence, later expressed his admiration for the Greeks and their heritage as they fought their War of Independence. Writing in 1823, he acknowledged Greece as "the first of civilized nations, [which] presented examples of what man should be."

The Hellenic influence on America's scholarly traditions reflects our Nation's high regard for Greece's lasting heritage. Our physicians uphold the timeless ethics of Hippocrates, and our students learn the mathematics of Euclid and Pythagoras. Our law schools use the Socratic Method, and the structures of ancient Greece have inspired many of our most cherished buildings and monuments. Greek Americans have also shaped our Nation as leaders in every sector of American life, and their community has strengthened the fabric of our country with its vibrant culture and unique traditions.

Above all, we were blessed to inherit the Hellenic ideal of democracy, which lives on today in Greece and America, and reinforces the enduring bonds between our two nations.

The White House celebrated Greek Independence Day on March 9 with a visit from Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou. Watch remarks from that event here: