NEW YORK – On Saturday, June 4, 2022, His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America attended the Greek Independence Day Gala, hosted by the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York, where he offered the invocation for an evening of excitement and celebration of the much-awaited return of the New York City Greek Independence Parade on Sunday.
In his remarks, His Eminence said, “I am proud to have worked with the Ὁμοσπονδία to bring about this vital event of our community, especially in bringing the mighty Evzones to participate – something that every person who will line Fifth Avenue tomorrow is eagerly waiting to see. And we are eternally grateful to the President of the Hellenic Republic for granting us their presence. Tonight is truly an occasion for celebration. The Federation represents scores of Hellenic Organizations who serve differing interests and constituencies of our Community. Coming together for the Parade is more than a symbolic show of solidarity; it is an act of community engagement.” (Full Remarks)
Senator Bob Menendez, regarded as the foremost Philhellene in the United States, presented the keynote speech, recounting the long history and shared values of the United States and Greece today. “While Bicentennial celebrations are great opportunities to reflect on past accomplishments, they also spur the imagination to see what can still be done, and the possibilities that I believe await the Hellenic Republic alongside of the United States are limitless,” he said.
The Federation honored several civic and community leaders as Grand Marshals of the Parade, including His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros, Congresswoman Nichole Malliotakis, the Hellenic Caucus of the United States (represented by Co-Chairs, the Honorable Carolyn Maloney and Gus Bilirakis), and Olympic Gold Medalist Fania Chalkia.
Recognized as Honorary Grand Marshals were the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), in celebration of its Centennial year; the Federation of Cypriot American Organization (FCAO); the International Coordinating Committee — Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA); the Pancyprian Association of America; Olympic Gold Medalist Ioannis Melissanidis; and the Chios Societies of USA and Canada, the Chian Federation, and the Panchian Society “Korais,” in commemoration of the Chian Massacre of 1822.