The National Herald’s First Century

It is amazing how quickly time flies. Once again, we have the good fortune of welcoming another new year.

Each new year challenges us to change for the better. It offers hope for health, peace, and justice.

But for us here at the newspaper – 2015 is a particularly special, magic number. A year for which four generations of colleagues and members of the community strove and about which they dreamed, though they probably did not believe it would be possible to accomplish: to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Ethnikos Kyrix – National Herald.

On Friday, April 2, 1915, the carefully-organized first edition roared off the presses on West 26th Street in Manhattan, headed by strong leadership and a capable staff. The National Herald appeared first on the newsstands of New York and later in every city in the country where Greek immigrants were concentrated.

The paper’s future was not secure by any means. Dozens of other newspapers were released before and after, only to close after a short time. The newly-launched paper also had a formidable rival, the Atlantis – which was founded in 1894 – a deeply rooted, powerful publication that fanatically supported King Constantine.

The National Herald instead dared and supported the firebronzed Cretan leader Eleftherios Venizelos, the great visionary and realist who changed the fate of the motherland.

That the Herald withstood the relentless battle with the Atlantis was quite a feat. But that in the end it prevailed as the only daily newspaper of Hellenes abroad with a life 100 years is a remarkable achievement.

That the Herald can look to the future with confidence and optimism is not only a monumental event in the history of community, but also constitutes a testament to what can be achieved with dedication, adherence to rules and principles, and the hard work of personnel and management: a sheer miracle.

This accomplishment and the legitimate pride, praise, honor, recognition, and jubilation do not belong only to the newspaper and its staff. They also belong to the community. The National Herald exists for the sake of the people. It writes daily the history of the community, Hellenism, Greece, and Cyprus.

The National Herald would not have survived even one day if it did not serve the interests of the immigrants, and if it were not the purveyor of a vital service to the Diaspora – if it had not become its voice and conscience.

This is why what we celebrate – and we will celebrate with various events throughout the year – constitutes a historic achievement not only of the Herald but of the close relationship of mutual trust and support between the Diaspora and the newspaper.

We are grateful to the founder and to all those who imprinted their soul in this newspaper.

We are grateful to four generations of Hellenes who stood by throughout the Herald’s first century.

Thank you, each and every one of you individually, for your continued support for our newspaper – yours and mine, ours – and I wish you a bright and happy 2015 from the bottom of my heart.