NEW YORK – Holidays are warmed and lit from the inside out. Rainy, cloudy, chilly weather did not interfere with the raising of the Greek flag, the official start of Greek Parade weekend in New York sponsored by the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York.
Greek-Americans and philhellenes and passers-by were delighted by the annual ceremony highlighted by the appearance of the Greek presidential guard, the Evzones, and dance troupes of local Greek schools.
This year’s event chairman, attorney Mamie Stathatos-Fulgieri, welcomed everyone and spoke of the sacrifices made by those who raised the banner of freedom in 1821 “so we could raise the Greek flag today,” and added that “they reclaimed their Byzantine and Classical Greek heritage after 400 years of Ottoman oppression.”
Soprano Anastasia Zannis sang the national anthems and thrilled the crowd, which has also delighted by the dance troupes of the Greek School of Plato, A. Fantis and the Hellenic Classical charter school.
George Iliopoulos, the Consul General of Greece, was present and the two keynote speakers were Frangoulis Frangos, retired Greek general, and attorney Nicholas Papain.
Stathatos-Fulgieri thanked all those who made the event possible, including Dennis Pilarinos.