Remembrance was the theme of this year’s Greek Independence Parade in Philadelphia, not only for Greece’s quest and gaining of independence in 1821, but also for the death of Danielle Kousoulis, who was among the Greek-Americans who lost their lives on 9/11, and for the thousands of other victims who died on that day in the terrorist attacks. The Parade is dedicated to their memory and also to an increased focus on mobilizing the Greek-American community toward contributing to the rebuilding of the St. Nicholas Church at Ground Zero.
Kousoulis’ parents, George and Zoe, are this year’s honorary Grand Marshals.
During the Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of St. George in Philadelphia prior to the start of the Parade, Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey offered a special prayer for Danielle and for all the other victims who lost their lives on 9/11.
As the parade got underway, the sun warmed the blustery day and the crowd was able to cheer on the marchers without having to huddle together for warmth.
Stathis Karadonis, President of the Federation of Hellenic American Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley announced the parade in Greek, and Federation Advisor Harry Karapalides did so in English. Metropolitan Evangelos led the chant of “Ti Ypermaho – The Champion Defender” and also “Aonia I Mnimi – Eternal the Memory” when the float memorializing Danielle Kousoulis advanced to the reviewing stand.