NEW YORK – On Sunday, June 5, 2022 His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America served as a Grand Marshal of the New York City Greek Independence Day Parade, his first since his enthronement in 2019. Organized by the Federation of Hellenic American Societies of Greater NY, the parade returned on a warm and sunny afternoon after two years of Covid restrictions.
His Eminence was joined by Grand Marshals Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis, the Hellenic Caucus of the United States (represented by its Co-Chair, the Honorable Carolyn Maloney), and Olympic Gold Medalist Fania Chalkia.
In addition to over 70 participating organizations and parishes, the Evzones of the Presidential Guard of Greece, who arrived in New York last Thursday, also marched in the parade. The Evzones were led by Major Paraskevi Syrmi, Lieutenant Konstantinos Kapsalis, Lieutenant Stavros Loukogeorgakis, and Second Lieutenant Aristotelis Pasparis. In a statement, the members of the Presidential Guard thanked the Archdiocese and all involved parties for their warm hospitality and excellent level of cooperation, both of which contributed to the success of the events and culminated with the magnificent parade on June 5th.
In his remarks at the Doxology for the Greek Independence Parade in the Presence of the Presidential Guard earlier that morning, His Eminence said, “Today we have the added joy of celebrating with the presence of Noble Brothers – the Presidential Guard of Greece. They have traveled across the ocean to join us in our march up Fifth Avenue, and to mark our pride and glory in the Independence of Greece. Many of you will be among the thousands who will line the famous Avenue to rejoice in this wonderful occasion. It is long overdue, and I would like to thank all those who have labored to make this event possible – most especially the President of the Hellenic Republic, Her Excellency Katerina Sakellaropoulou, for her consent to send the Guard. “
Also in attendance at the parade were New York City Mayor Eric Adams, Ambassador of Greece to the United States Her Excellency Alexandra Papadopoulou, Ambassador of Cyprus to the United States His Excellency Marios Lyssiotis, Consul General of Greece in New York Dr. Konstantinos Koutras, Consul General of Cyprus in New York Mr. Michalis Firillas, and Rhode Island State Senator Lou Raptakis.
A number of visiting Greek and Cypriot dignitaries were present as well, including Vice President of the European Commission Mr. Margaritis Schinas, EU External Action Service Delegate Ms. Thisvi Ekmektzoglou-Newson, Greek Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Andreas Katsianotis, Permanent Representative of Greece to the United Nations Her Excellency Ambassador Maria Theofili, Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the United Nations His Excellency Ambassador Andreas Hadjichrysanthou, and a delegation from the Committee on Greeks Abroad of the Greek Parliament comprising Chairperson Savvas Anastasiadis, Vice Chairperson Theodora Tzakri, and MP Evangelia Liakouli.
Honorary Grand Marshals included the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), in celebration of its Centennial year; the Federation of Cypriot American Organizations (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.