2017-03-22 / Editorials

Happy Greek Independence Day

Greek Independence Day, a national holiday in Greece, is very important here in Queens as well, where the Greek American presence is strong – especially in neighborhoods like Astoria and Bayside, with their abundance of Greek residents, schools, churches and businesses. The holiday commemorates the beginning of the Greek War of Independence in 1821, against domination by the Ottoman Empire, which was timed to coincide with the Annunciation on March 25th, one of the holiest days in the Orthodox Christian calendar.

There is always much celebrating in anticipation of this anniversary, most recently with the ceremony at the Stathakion Center, hosted by elected officials and local community leaders; and soon with the Greek Independence Day Parade organized by The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York, to be held on Sunday, March 26th along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. The events not only celebrate Greek independence, but all that Greek culture has given the world, and what those of Greek heritage continue to contribute to society, be they in politics, the arts and sciences, culture or civic life. America and other powerful countries can thank the ancient Greeks for the concept of democracy; we can also count major contributions to the arts, science and philosophy – what names immediately spring to mind when discussing philosophy? The father of Western philosophy, Socrates, who after the great Athenian statesman, Solon, inspired democracy; Plato, author of The Republic, preserver of the works of Socrates and teacher of Aristotle, father of science, and mentor of Alexander the Great.

We salute the contributions and resilience of the Greek people and salute them for 196 years of independence.

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