DETROIT – Though the celebrations of Greek Independence Day were postponed or cancelled due to the measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, many shared their best wishes online through social media or by contacting The National Herald. On March 25, Stella Thomas shared photos from last year’s parade in Detroit and also sent a statement in honor of the holiday by Vasilios Voulharas, President of the Macedonian Aristotelis Chapter of Detroit.
Thomas told TNH about her parents James and Adriani Thomas. She said, “My mother and father were President and Vice President of the Makedoniko Sylogo for 25 years and my mother was the one who began the parade many years ago by taking her Greek flag through a line of cars in the rain and was followed by all the Greeks. She worked with the City of Detroit to establish the Greek Independence Day Parade. She along with my father and other members also raised money and helped to erect a large statue of Alexander the Great in downtown Detroit on behalf of Macedonia and fought many battles in DC and in Greece to preserve Greece’s history and values.
“I am so very proud of my Greek heritage and owe the world to my mother and father for instilling our great faith and pride for Greece. ‘Pisti, Agapi, kai Elpida’ (panda stin kardia sou)… my Dad’s dying words to me before he passed away recently. And my Mother – ‘pisti sto Theo, kai ola tha yenoun kala’ (have faith in God and everything will be fine)… and ‘God Bless America, but never forget Greece.’”
Mr. Voulharas’ statement follows:
1821 Greek Independence Continues!
During their own quest for Independence, Americans connected with the Greeks on an emotional and philosophical level. The contributions of the Ancient Greeks to modern democracy were a very important factor. When the Declaration of Independence was being written, the teachings of ancient philosophers such as Aristotle, Socrates, Plato and Homer, served as an inspiration for Thomas Jefferson and the other Founding Fathers. Even the chants of the Americans echoed the chants of those early Greeks. “Give me Liberty or give me Death,” chanted by the Americans. Similar to the Greeks’ “Freedom or Death.”
The 1821 Greek uprising against the Ottoman Empire gave Greece its freedom back, but even after 200 years the struggle for Freedom and Justice continue. We must continue to support the Makedonia issue; freedom for Cyprus; support for all Greek Island territories that are violated by other nation states on a daily basis (Turkey); support for Greece’s efforts to protect its borders from the wave of immigrants that Turkey promotes; support for the fight against propaganda that threaten the integrity of Greece’s history and stability; support for the return of all Greek ancient artifacts and marbles owned and exhibited illegally by other nations; support for Greek economic growth and stability; and finally, we must pray for the health of all of her citizens as our world is ravaged by a new silent enemy.
Let all of us become true Philhellenes! Stay informed, and always protect our history, our culture, our Christian values, and keep our beloved HELLAS always and forever Free!
HAPPY GREEK INDEPENDENCE DAY! ZHTO H ELLADA! XRONIA POLLA!
Sincerely with Patriotic Regards,
Makedonia Aristotelis Detroit Chapter & AHEPA 506