2012-03-28 / Features

Greek Community Celebrates 191 Years Of Freedom

BY JASON D. ANTOS


State Senator Michael Gianaris marches proudly in the 74th annual Greek Independence Day Parade on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Next to him is Irene Stathatos Vasilakos. State Senator Michael Gianaris marches proudly in the 74th annual Greek Independence Day Parade on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Next to him is Irene Stathatos Vasilakos. On March 25, the Greek Independence Day Parade was held along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. The theme of the 74th annual parade was “Solidarity with Greece”.

The parade was organized by the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York who has dedicated its resources in promoting support and solidarity for Greece, which has suffered through an economic crisis.

U.S. Senator

Robert Menendez of

New Jersey was the 2012 Grand Marshal, in recognition of his steadfast support for Cyprus and the Greek National causes.

More than 50 floats and bands, as well as 100,000 participants and spectators attended the parade, commemorating the 191st anniversary of Greece’s independence after 400 years of Turkish Ottoman rule on March 25, 1821.


Seen here with members of the Asgata Association at the 74th annual Greek Independence Day Parade is District Leader Costa Constantinides (c.). Seen here with members of the Asgata Association at the 74th annual Greek Independence Day Parade is District Leader Costa Constantinides (c.). Marching in solidarity with the Greeks were the Serbian and Armenian communities of Greater New York and, for the first time ever, a Greek school, the Aristotle University of Salonika.

State Senator Michael Gianaris joined the march as well as District Leader Costa Constantinides who was joined by the Asgata Association. Asgata is the ancestral hometown of Constantinides in Cyprus. Established in 1934, the association is one of the oldest Cypriot organizations in America.

“Having the opportunity to walk as a member of the historic Asgata Association, which represents the town that my father emigrated from in 1952 to come to America, always brings me great pride in my Greek-Cypriot roots and heritage. The Greek Independence Day Parade is always an amazing event for all Greeks to celebrate our shared Hellenic roots and culture,” Constantinides said.


Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr. was also at the parade. Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr. was also at the parade. Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr. also participated in this year’s parade.

“Many of our Greek-Americans left hard times in Greece to craft better lives for themselves and for their families. Their success is evident – they’ve built thriving communities and enterprises throughout the five boroughs, and now have the knowledge and ability to support Greece through this tough time,” Vallone said.

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