By Theodore Kalmoukos
BOSTON, MA – The Consulate General of Greece in Boston in cooperation with the Alpha Omega Council of Boston organized the thirty third Boston Marathon Wreath at the State House of Massachusetts on April 13. Over 300 guests attended the ceremony.
The wreaths were handed to the president of the Boston Athletic Association Joann Flaminio by Amb. of Greece to the United States Haris Lalacos.
Former Massachusetts Governor and 1988 Democratic Presidential Nominee Michael Dukakis, Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis, Consul General of Greece Iphigenia Kanara, and many local state officials were in attendance.
Charles Lavrentios, Event Chair, Alpha Omega Council welcomed the guests. WBZ-TV Sports Reporter Dan Roche served as Emcee. Rev. Demetrios Tonias priest of the Annunciation Cathedral of Boston offered the invocation, representing Metropolitan Methodios of Boston.
The American and Greek National Anthems were sung by the Timilty Middle School and Hopkinton Middle School Choruses.Remarks were offered Alpha Omega Council President Peter Lemonias and member Nicholas Koutris.
Hundreds of sixth grade students of three public schools, of Hopkinton, Ashland, and Boston,participated in an essay contest about the Marathon. Some samples follow: “The battle of Marathon took Place in 490 BC in the fields and beaches of Marathon Bay, Greece. The Persians were the greatest power of the Mediterranean Region. The attack was order by Darius (the Persian king) because Greeks supported the Ionians against the Persians.” (Estefania, Grade 6).
“Can you imagine leaving everything behind, including your home to protect your land? One reason an individual Athenian citizen would go to fight against the Persians is because they did not want to watch their city-state was being enslaved by a foreign power. For example, in 490 B.C. Eretria had already been diminished to slavery. The Athenians did not want to become what other places have been, overcome by slavery and ruled by King Darius.” (Eesha, Grade 6).
Mayor Kaminis honored 12 students for their exceptional essays with a certificate and a gift from Greece, congratulating them for their success and their love for Greece.
Special recognition was given to Kathrine V. Switzer, “262 Fearless” – the first woman to officially enter and run the Boston Marathon. Recognition and remarks followed by Gov. Dukakis. A reception for all followed in the Great Hall of Massachusetts State House.