Behind the Scenes: President Obama Visits the Acropolis in Athens, Greece

President Barack Obama visits the Erechtheion, a temple dedicated to both Athena and Poseidon, during a tour of the Acropolis in Athens, Greece, Nov. 16, 2016. Dr. Eleni Banou, Director, Ephorate of Antiquities for Athens, Ministry of Culture, leads the tour. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

This week, President Obama got the chance to visit the Acropolis in Greece. Watch the President reflect on standing at the birthplace of democracy during the final overseas trip of his presidency.

“One of the great joys of being the president is the ability to travel and see different cultures and meet different people. That’s important for our national security but it’s also important for us to understand ourselves and our place in the world.
President Barack Obama visits the Parthenon, a temple dedicated to the goddess Athena, during a tour of the Acropolis in Athens, Greece, Nov. 16, 2016. Dr. Eleni Banou, Director, Ephorate of Antiquities for Athens, Ministry of Culture, leads the tour. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
“We’ve got the Parthenon behind us, part of the Acropolis. It is here in Athens that so many of our ideas about democracy, our notions of citizenship, our notions of rule of law, began to develop.
President Barack Obama takes a tour of the Acropolis in Athens, Greece, Nov. 16, 2016. Dr. Eleni Banou, Director, Ephorate of Antiquities for Athens, Ministry of Culture, leads the tour. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
“And so when you visit a site like this not only are you getting a better understanding of Greece and Western culture but you’re also sending a signal of the continuity that exists between what happened here, the speeches of Pericles, and what happened with our Founding Fathers.
“And it’s a very important role for the President of the United States to send a signal to the world that their culture, their traditions, their heritage, their monuments, are something of value, and are precious, and that we have learned from them.
President Barack Obama looks at the view from Belvedere Tower during a tour of the Acropolis in Athens, Greece, Nov. 16, 2016. Dr. Eleni Banou, Director, Ephorate of Antiquities for Athens, Ministry of Culture, leads the tour. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
“Because what that does then is send a strong signal around the world that we view ourselves as part of a broader humanity and a community of nations that can work together to solve problems and lift up what’s best in humanity.”

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