To the Editor,
I am a long time parade-goer and I think it is wrong to criticize the attendance as the Letter to the Editor did in the April 15 issue, when everyone knows it is much more fun to march than it is to stand on the sidelines and watch the parade, especially on a cold, damp day in March.
I thought the attendance was fine at the New York Parade in spite of the weather. If it had been sunny and 80 degrees, of course more people would have been there, but comparing attendance figures from one year to the next does not make people want to participate or watch the Parade.
It may have appeared that there were fewer people at the Parade because of heightened security that led to many blocks being closed off due to the recent London terrorist attack. I don’t mind the safety precautions, but that made it appear that there were less people there. There have always been people who are not parade-goers, for whatever reason, they don’t see the point of waving flags and marching and I respect that choice. It is a free country. There are also people who cannot attend the Parade due to health problems.
Making the Parade a more entertaining event to watch might increase attendance, but it doesn’t make anyone more or less Greek whether or not they march in a Parade. The fact that they don’t feel pride in their heritage is more disturbing and possibly the fault of their education or their parents. If they don’t know the history, and understand that people fought and died for freedom, why should they bother with the Parade? Education is the key.
Also, to truly support Greece, why not encourage people to buy Greek products instead? There are so many fantastic products made in Greece by Greek people, shouldn’t we make a point to help them with our business, too? That might help more than just waving a flag in New York.
Soula Z. Pappas
New York, NY