Friday, December 10, 2010

Constantine's message to the American people

December 10, 1920

King Constantine of the Hellenes will be returning to Greece as sovereign.  In an interview with the Associated Press, the King reiterated his "expression of good will toward the Entente and the United States."
"In returning to my country and reascending the Greek throne, which I was forced by the Entente and the intrigues of a political party to abandon for three long and trying years, I feel more than ever as the President of the United States must feel. I, too, have been elected by the vote of the people to the high office I am about to fill and which I formerly occupied by the single constitutional right of heredity.
"In this most solemn moment of my life I am duly conscious of the heavy responsibilities I assume.  I feel in duty bound to express to the great American people my most heartfelt thanks for the sympathy I received from them in my trials.  I thank them also for the impartiality they certainly have endeavored to show in judging me and in criticising  my attitude during the most disastrous war ever known in the history of mankind.
"I, upon whose family crest stands the device, 'The law of the people is my power,' ever have had at heart the interest of the people by whom I am now called, by their express and indisputable will, to rule.
"Mindful of the great upheaval the war was going to cause, I endeavored to follow a line of action which I considered would serve the best interests of my people, and I feel I did it with enmity toward none and good-will toward all.  The combination of circumstances all tended to make credible the calumnious reports that an alert and indefatigable statesman, who, unlikely, out of spite for me had been blinded to all the dictates of reason, had caused to be spread sedulously abroad.
"In order to create this false impression, a misinterpretation, well calculated to alienate me from the good-will of the Entente, was most steadily placed upon my very act, word or thought.  By this an estrangement was brought about between me and the Entente Powers to which  I myself, as well as my people, had always looked as our best and natural friends.
"I solemnly declare to the American people that neither the policy I followed in the past nor the action of my people in unanimously calling me to my throne was actuated by any intention to show hostility toward the Allies.
"More than any one else, I realize that the interests of Greece and those of the Allies and America have ever been and are now identical.   I personally am anxious to show it by all the means  I possess and amn only too willing to clear up the misunderstanding of which I have until now been the victim.
"I sincerely hope and believe I will get the hearty support of the American people, whose wonderful qualities I admire and whose sincerity, openmindedness and impartiality I unreservedly reply upon."

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