The Evzones participated in the Greek flag-raising event in Astoria on June 4. Photo by Eleni Sakellis
ASTORIA – Under sunny skies in Athens Square Park in Astoria, community members of all ages gathered for the Greek flag-raising ceremony on June 4, the day before the Greek Independence Parade marches up 5th Avenue on Sunday, June 5. The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York was represented by 3rd Vice President Nomiki Kastanas and Despina Afentouli of the Cultural Committee who served as the co-hosts of the event in celebration of the 201st anniversary of Greek Independence and gave the welcoming remarks.
The Presidential Guard of the Hellenic Republic, the Evzones, marched into the park to music performed by the Hellenic Air Force Band and to the enthusiastic applause of the crowd, beaming with pride.
Fr. Vasileois Tsourlis, Dean of St. Demetrios Cathedral in Astoria led a prayer to begin the event. The flag was then raised and the Greek and U.S. National Anthems were performed by the Hellenic Air Force Band.
Before the dignitaries offered their remarks, Kastanas noted the passing of longtime Federation president Petros Galatoulas and led a moment of silence in his honor. Among those present were Greek Parliament Members of the Committee on Greeks Abroad including Chairperson Savvas Anastasiadis, Vice Chairperson Theodora Tzakri, and MP Evangelia Liakouli. In their remarks, they each shared their thoughts on the celebration of Greek Independence and the importance of unity among Hellenism worldwide. They congratulated the community and the organizers and all looked forward to the parade on 5th Avenue.
Remarks were also offered by Consul General of Greece in New York Dr. Konstantinos Koutras and Consul General of the Republic of Cyprus in New York Michalis Firillas.
Also among those present were Consul of Greece in New York Dimitris Papageorgiou and Federation of Hellenic Societies Vice President Nikos Bardis.
The dance portion of the celebration included dancers from the Lykeio Ellinidon Florinas who performed in traditional costume. The dance group from St. Demetrios Astoria performed a Pontic dance and a Cretan pentozali. The Greek-American Folklore Society dancers also performed in traditional costume.
Everyone shared their best wishes and the park echoed with enthusiastic shouts of Long Live Greece!
PHILADELPHIA – The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley announced that the Evzones, the Presidential Guard of Greece will be participating in the Philadelphia Greek Independence Day Parade on March 20.
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