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Politics

Evzones Intro’d at Federation’s Final Meeting before the Parade (Vid & Pics)

ASTORIA – The presence of the Evzones, the Presidential Guard, who will be marching on 5th Avenue, as well as some of the official guests who will be on the official dais on Sunday, were the most distinct elements on April 19 at the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York’s final meeting prior to the April 22 parade.

Federation President Petros Galatoulas welcomed all those in attendance. In a festive atmosphere, there was barely a seat left in the Stathakion Center with attendance much higher than the previous meetings.

Immediately after the prayer by Archimandrite Nektarios Papazafiropoulos and the singing of the National Anthems, the 21 Evzones were presented, together with the officers and executives of the Presidential Guard accompanying them.

They stood at the front of the hall and gave their name and place of origin to the enthusiastic applause of the audience in support of their fellow Greeks.

Among the places the Evzones call home were Samos, Lesvos, Athens, Kalamata, Aegio, Drama, Heraklion, Chania, Amfilochia, Evia, Kastoria, Ioannina, Kozani, and Karditsa.

The Evzones are accompanied by the Commander, Colonel Rodolfos Demetroglou, Infantry Lieutenants Nikolaos Leontaris and Georgios Andrianopoulos, as well as the representative of the Military Office of the Presidency of the Republic, Konstantia Christodoulou and officer of the Presidential Guard, Dimitra Psychogiou.

“On Sunday, we want to… break the asphalt, hear the legendary Evzones throughout all of New York, across America, and around the world. Be heard up above where all our past heroes are who gave their lives for our homeland to be free and to see Greeks so strong all over the world. I am waiting to see all of you on 5th Avenue,” Mr. Demetroglou said, and conveyed the greetings of the Lieutenant-Guard, Gregorios Prezerakos, who, due to the circumstances, remained in Athens.

As has been pointed out, this year’s Evzone schedule is very tight since they will depart for Greece next Monday.

All of the speeches were characterized by the need for a big turnout on 5th Avenue, which was more urgent because of the key issues currently facing Greece.

“It is a great honor for me that the Federation has trusted me to organize and coordinate the greatest privilege enjoyed by the Greek community: the parade. It is the highest honor for us and it requires us to preserve it. All of us are involved. It is the only way to promote our issues, which are crucial both to the East and to the North,” said Parade Committee Chairman, Nancy Papaioannou, who thanked her associates in Atlantic Bank and also the Hellenic American Chamber of Commerce for the support of their efforts.

New York State Senator Michael Gianaris, also said that “a few weeks ago we were all together at the UN for Macedonia. On Sunday, the weather will be better. We must all be on the 5th Avenue, to show our strength as a community and to give strength to our friends in Greece.”

The Consul General of Greece in New York, Konstantinos Koutras, offered greetings to the Evzones and the “color” they give the parade, inviting the whole world to 5th Avenue.

Comments were also made by the Mayor of Corfu Konstantinos Nikolouzos, Rear Admiral Vassilis Politis, Professor of Geopolitics Ioannis Mazis and other contributors.

The Archbishop was represented by the Archdiocese Director/Press Officer, Press Office – News and Media Relations, Stavros Papagermanos, who conveyed the greetings of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios and handed over a check for the financial contribution on behalf of His Eminence. As he said, Archbishop Demetrios is in Constantinople and will return to New York on Saturday, so his presence at the Hilton that night for the Parade Gala is not confirmed.

Finally, Galatoulas welcomed the financial support of the Greek community, noting, however, that the expenses are covered by the generosity of the middle class and not by the community’s multi-millionaires.

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