To our faithful readers and fellow Hellenes:
Throughout the course of our people’s momentous history, there have been many trials and tribulations along the way. There have been dark days, but there have also been triumphs that have illuminated and advanced the human condition in permanent ways for the better.
For the past 105 years, our newspaper – your newspaper – Ethnikos Kirix and, since 1997, The National Herald, EK’s weekly English-language sister publication, have sought to bring you all of these moments in our time: the good and the bad – always reaching for the truth when it was difficult, seeking answers when questions weren’t welcomed, and telling the story of our people from sea to shining sea.
America is a country built by immigrants. Throughout time, Greeks have been a migrant people with an unfathomable love of their homeland. Oftentimes, Greece makes us sad because we know just what it could be in the right hands. However, the romanticism and raw pride that we who hail from there is ever present.
The first Greeks who left their native land soon proved themselves to be talented, hardworking people in their adopted societies. Those Greeks assimilated to their new homes but never, ever forgot where they came from. They achieved such fame, acknowledgement, and a broad heralding that one can scarcely imagine what they would have received had they remained in Greece. At times, humility is something often in short supply in Greece – but so is the recognition and praise of superior talent. This isn't a new phenomenon, but we have to buck the trend because in 2020, we know better.
This newspaper, and its sister publication as well, have sought to tell the story of remarkable everyday Hellenes who made their lives, those around them, their communities, their countries and sometimes, their world, a vastly better place.
More than a decade ago, a remarkable undertaking was facilitated by a man who in his life has often been ahead of his time, my predecessor in this position, my father, Antonis H. Diamataris.
He had the vision and foresight to understand that even while print was still the dominant means of news consumption, the digital aspect of the industry was the future. This visionary thinking is how www.ekirikas.com and www.thenationalherald.com came to be.
Today, three weeks after celebrating the newspaper’s 105th anniversary, will mark another milestone for this publication. We are very proud to unveil two brand new websites (with the same domain names) which we hope will in turn make you proud as well. They are functionally the same but more intuitive, adaptive to all devices and bring a higher quality to our digital business that reflects the philosophy of this company. We believe that if too much is focused on the past, one might get lost in the midst of the present and simply forget to look forward to the future. In a determined effort to not let that be the case, over the last year we have been developing these sites in a bid to raise our bar higher and give you the product you deserve.
Understanding that the perfect is the enemy of good; we know that initially there will be issues that will flare up for our users. During this time, the sites will be live – however, they will be in their beta versions, allowing us to take your feedback and our own observations to correct errors that may arise in a timely manner.
When I had first spoken to you, at the 100th Anniversary of the Ethnikos Kirix, I had concluded my speech by telling you that the best was yet to come for the company, and, by extension, for the members of our community. A day like today is precisely what I had in mind.
In a world currently dominated by COVID-19, let us stop and give thanks for what we have in our lives, including each other. The Greek American community is uncommonly united, organized, and goal-oriented. We are going to make it through this difficult time the only way that we have survived for millennia away from Greece’s shores – together.
These new websites that we present to you aim to bring us even closer together – to respect, to understand, to learn from, and to support one another.
We recognize that to cover the Greek diaspora, it’s more than just covering a few square miles in Queens, NY – our home for the last 40 years. No, in a globalized and interconnected world, the likes of which humanity has never known before, we aim to create Greek and English language platforms with these sites that will serve as the rallying point for all Hellenes and Philhellenes alike. These brand new, state of the art websites have been created to tell our stories, bring us together, and advance our causes.
While this is a landmark date for the digital development of our company, our identity remains in our print editions. Ethnikos Kirix is the longest continuously printed Greek language daily newspaper outside of Greece (second in the entire world) and so it shall remain. Ethnikos Kirix and The National Herald will remain in print with the two new websites further enhancing those print editions, not taking away from them. Together the print and the digital will work side by side to deliver the product our community needs in the best way that we can.
This company is the product of a century plus’ labors of love. The introduction of these new websites symbolizes a milestone and more than justifies all the blood, sweat, and tears poured into the newspaper through the decades by countless staff members. These new websites are symbols of progress celebrating our future, while always remembering the sacrifices of the past.
I would like to thank our colleagues through the years, the development team behind these new websites, my family members both here among us as well as those who aren’t, our supporters, our readers, and our subscribers for making this all possible. Know that this important technological step is just that, a step, and that there are many more to follow. The future is bright for Ethnikos Kirikas and The National Herald, the latter led by the supremely talented and hard-working, Vanessa Diamataris, my sister.
In my humble opinion, visionaries have led this company and have assumed the de facto leadership mantles of our community because they understood very well an old Greek proverb that applies to Ethnikos Kirix/The National Herald: “Society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” We Hellenes, we at this newspaper, truly stand on the shoulders of giants.
We must not shirk our responsibilities nor should we be afraid to embrace the future. Instead, let us continue to write that future together in our print editions, as we have for over a century, as well as on our new websites which will guide us into the next one.
I thank you and may God bless you.
Eraklis A. Diamataris