Greek Independence Day Celebration
State Senator Michael Gianaris, Assembly Member Aravella Simotas, Council Member Costa Constantinides and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz hosted a celebration of Greek Independence Day at the Stathakion Center in Astoria. The Queens elected officials annually mark the occasion with a ceremony recognizing Greek heritage and culture, and honoring local community leaders. Greek Independence Day is a national holiday in Greece, commemorating the start of the Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire in 1821. This year’s occasion marked the 196th anniversary of Greek independence.
This year’s honorees were four Greek women who have made important contributions to the Greek community. Honorees included Evgenia Soldatos, ADA, Nassau County District Attorney’s Office; Jenny Emexezidis, Chief Financial Officer of Queens Medallion Group of Companies and Melrose Ballroom; Nomiki Kastanas from National Greek TV; and Ismini Michaels, Treasurer of the Greek Children’s Fund.
Borough President Katz said, “It is an honor to co-host this official celebration of Greek Independence Day with my colleagues in government. We will recognize the many accomplishments Greece has made as the birthplace of democracy and as a beacon of culture and freedom throughout the world. We will also recognize the thousands of Greek Americans who have contributed greatly to the economic, civic, political and cultural life of the borough of Queens and the City of New York.”
Senator Gianaris said, “As the son of parents born in Greece, I am proud to host another Greek Independence Day celebration.
There is no better place than here in Astoria – the heart of Greek American culture – to remember our heritage and celebrate the spirit of freedom and the desire for independence that has for so long linked America with the country of our ancestors.”
Assembly Member Simotas said, “I am pleased to join my colleagues in celebrating Greek Independence Day here in Astoria, where so many Greek immigrants have found the opportunity to thrive and prosper. Our celebration honors the brave and righteous Greeks who fought to break the yoke of the Ottoman Empire’s oppression 196 years ago, and now we can proudly stand committed to the democratic ideals that bind Greece and America. I extend my deepest appreciation to the four remarkable Greek women honored tonight for their commitment to bettering the Greek community in New York.”
Council Member Constantinides said, “I am proud to once again join in celebrating the anniversary of Greek Independence with our Greek American community in Astoria. We recognize the achievements that all our honorees have made in promoting the Hellenic and democratic values that our Greek ancestors have instilled in us. These community leaders have been important role models and served as examples of civic engagement throughout our neighborhood. Thank you to my colleagues Borough President Katz, Senator Gianaris, and Assembly Member Simotas for helping our community honor the contributions of Greek Americans.”