BOSTON – Jim Logothethis is well known in the Greek-American Community for his love, support, and promotion of Hellenic Paideia – Greek Culture, Language, and History. He spoke to The National Herald about being appointed National Committee chairman of the committee for the celebration of 200th anniversary of the Greek War of Independence by Archbishop Elpidophoros.
The interview follows:
The National Herald: Who are the other members of the committee?
Jim Logothetis: First, thank you, Theodore, for this opportunity to talk about this monumental celebration in the history of the world, and I want to thank His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros for his trust in me to lead this effort. One of the first and most crucial things that we have been working on is to get representation on our committee from every major Omogenia organization. This is by no means an exclusive committee, but a gathering together of all of us, so that we can speak, act, and most importantly, celebrate with one voice and one heart!
TNH: Is it possible to share with the Greek-American Community the events and activities that you have planned, the dates and the places where they will take place?
JL: In the coming days and weeks, all of these things will be further rolled out by the Archdiocese and the National Committee. We will be using a plethora of new and traditional media outreach to make sure that everyone in the Greek-American community is aware of each event that is happening across the United States, whether organized by the Committee or other organizations. On our website, we will have a calendar that will list all events happening throughout the period of celebration.
TNH: Besides the Archdiocese who else is involved in organizing the events, the Embassy of Greece in Washington, the AHEPA, Hellenic federations and societies, Hellenic College and Holy Cross, Greek-American Schools?
JL: As I said, we have reached out to every organization to be a prat of this national initiative. There are so many uplifting and amazing events and initiatives that are already planned, and our goal is to be able to share each of these with as wide of an audience as possible, sharing the grace and glory of this anniversary not only with Greek-America, but with the American public as well.
TNH: Will any high ranking official from Greece attend any of the events, when and where?
JL: As you know, Theodore, we are in the midst of a pandemic, so travel is very difficult. Currently we are exploring ways through the committee that we can maximize the participation of Greek officials and Greeks around the world in this celebration.
TNH: Will you inform and invite the American Media? What message do you wish to convey to the American People through the Media about this 200th anniversary?
JL: Greek Independence and the message of 1821 is not a uniquely ‘Greek’ concept; the underlying themes of freedom, liberty, and justice are found throughout the modern world, and are most certainly applicable to our American story. We will work to share this celebration with all.
TNH: Do you have a budget to cover the expenses and who is providing the funding?
JL: Our committee is in the process of acquiring the funding needed in order to properly celebrate this magnificent anniversary. Once funding is finalized, all donors and partners will be shared on the official website.
TNH: Please explain to the second, third, and fourth generation of Greek-Americans why it is essential to observe and celebrate this 200th anniversary?
JL: Every year, I see young adults and kids celebrate Greek Independence Day, perhaps knowing less and less about the actual battle for independence than the generation before them. Too often, Greek Independence Day has become about sharing a picture your favorite picture of you at the Acropolis with a Greek Flag gif on social media or marching in a parade. And those things are beautiful and perpetuate our story, but only part of the story. We have a true opportunity this year to not just celebrate the 200 years, but to educate the younger generations about the inspiring stories of the freedom fighters like Kolokotronis and Bouboulina. We have an opportunity to use social media and the internet to spread not just catchy images of our favorite vacation beach, but to tell the story of the tragedy of the occupation, the courage of the fighters, and the sweet taste of victory that became the Hellenic Republic that we know today. We have a large task ahead of us, and with the leadership of His Eminence and the wonderful work of all those involved, we will definitely succeed!