Today we celebrate the 101st anniversary of the National Herald.
An historic event that we celebrate with humility and appreciation for the generations of managers, staffers and – and above all – readers.
Very few businesses and fewer newspapers manage to arrive at this milestone.
Of the 5,000 companies on the New York Stock Exchange, only 486 are 100 or more years old according to a study by Standard & Poor’s.
And only 23 privately held audited companies have been in existence for 100 years.
The fact that the National Herald belongs in this category is a real triumph of Hellenism in America.
The question of course is, to what can this triumph can be attributed?
There are certainly many explanations.
I would add another one:
An immigrant to the US changes in two main ways: He loves his homeland even more, and his mentality changes. He is Americanized.
The immigrant, from the first moment of his arrival here, understands that the state, in the sense he knows from Greece (cushy jobs, handouts), does not exist here.
He learns that in order to survive he can only rely on himself.
This, in the beginning, appears hard, perhaps inhuman.
“What can the state do for me,” is replaced by “what can I do for myself” – and later on, for society as a whole.
This is a modern attitude, and it is also liberating.
It puts an end to illusions, excuses, and weak efforts.
It gives strength and confidence in his ability to the individual.
It literally unties his hands so that can be who he is and become everything he is capable of.
The only presumption is that success requires work.
Moreover, something else happens. The immigrant discovers the pleasure –paradoxically – of hard work.
He learns about its material and moral rewards.
What does this have to do with the 101st anniversary of The National Herald?
As the Greek-American proceeds and he feels more secure, he also feels a responsibility for the proud ethnic group to which he belongs, and for its future.
In addition to stimulating him by keeping him informed with articles and commentary, this newspaper, by presenting positive examples of others, constitutes one of the main pillars of the community, through which he can accomplish his goals.
This is true provided the newspaper performs its mission in an truthful way.
Since we are entering our second century, I can promise you this: That we will always hold high the banner of our mission, and of Hellenism in the United States, the homeland, and throughout the world.