The annual commemoration at the US ambassador's residence of the July 4th independence day celebration took place on Thursday afternoon, with several ministers and representatives of Greece's political, business and ecclesiastical leaders present.
In a brief address during the reception, US ambassador to Greece Daniel B. Smith first congratulated the Greek side for the recent successful hosting of the Special Olympics 2011 Summer Games, stressing that an "effort to ensure equality for all is something we continue to strive for today." 

Smith added that during "difficult times" it is important not only to remember our shared ideals and values, but also the "close partnership and alliance that Greece and the United States continue to enjoy."