It fills us with a sense of wonder and enormous responsibility to note that today, on April 2, 2013, we celebrate the 98th year since the establishment of Ethnikos Kirix, The National Herald.
This is not only a triumph of the members of our staff who shed sweat and blood over the words and pages of this newspaper over almost 100 years.
It is primarily a triumph of Hellenism in America. One of the greatest and brightest.
It is proof of the irresistible desire of Greeks to put down roots in America, after being forced to leave their homeland due to occasional periods of mismanagement or tragedy in Greece and Cyprus, while maintaining their Hellenic identity intact.
They created The National Herald as their authentic and worthy voice, and as an authoritative source of information.
That is why there Ethnikos Kirizx is so closely identified with the community and vise versa.
Todays historic anniversary spurs us to examine the reasons that contributed to survival The Herald for 98 years, longer than any other institution in the community.
This is mainly due to:
• The culture that was established from the beginning of the operation of the newspaper, a culture of principles, with strong feelings of indebtedness and responsibility to the readers.
• The managers and employees who through the decades generally took correct positions on critical community and other issues.
• The creation, after a long and arduous process, of a relationship of deep trust between the reader and the newspaper.
A relationship that is the alpha and omega of the proper functioning of a newspaper.
That is how The National Herald became the “bible” of the community.
It would be impossible in this long journey of almost a century for the newspaper not to have made mistakes.
What matters, however, is that the right decisions exceeded the wrong by far, that the vast majority of publishers and employees of the newspaper did their duty.
In the 98 years of its life, only seven publishers have stood at the helm of The National Herald. Three of them, Tatanis, Marketos and yours truly, have served for 91 of its 98 years. I am honored to have served the longest, having been the publisher since 1979.
Thousands of colleagues have worked in different parts of the newspaper.
It is impossible to stress enough the devotion, contributions, and sacrifices of the people who have worked here through the years, certainly during the years when I have had the responsibility for publishing The National Herald. Congratulations to my colleagues in New York, Boston, Florida, Athens, Tripoli, Heraklion, and Nicosia.
Peter Tatanis, the once-wealthy founder of the newspaper, died poor in New York on December 27, 1959 from a heart attack at the age of 74.
We just recently located his grave site where there was no sign of his name!
But did he ever imagine that great creation of his life, would still be alive?
We are very grateful to him.
As for the inevitable question, how does the future look for The National Herald, we answer:
The Herald’s future will depend on our continued adherence to the principles and values which have governed it in the past.
For as long as the operation of the newspaper rests on ethics and honesty, and it continues to provide accurate information, if we continue to feel the thrill and the gravitas of our mission and persist in the self-sacrifice required to serve the truth and the interests of our readers, the future of the newspaper will be guaranteed.
Today we celebrate a historic anniversary.
A triumphant anniversary for the newspaper and for Hellenism in America.