2018-03-28 / Front Page

March 18, 2018 UN Rally: A Rendezvous with History

By Catherine Tsounis

Arcadians of Chapter #1, Geros Tou Morea of the Pan Arcadian Federation of America participated.Arcadians of Chapter #1, Geros Tou Morea of the Pan Arcadian Federation of America participated.“A Rendezvous with History” took place on the afternoon of March 18, 2018 Rally to oppose the naming of FYROM as Macedonia in the United Nations Plaza. Three blocks were closed off with police lines. Countless buses filled the area from the Midwest to the Northern seaboard states. This was a “Pan American Rally” with persons from the west coast of California and along the East Coast of the United States and Montreal, Canada. Organized by the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York, Pan Macedonian Association of USA, Hellenic American Congress and other US Greek organizations, it was one of the most peaceful events. No disrupters! The NYPD and volunteers helped the rally participants demonstrate without violence. “The Greek American Community is united and on March 18, across the United Headquarters in Manhattan we will have the largest rally that ever took place in New York”, said Petros Galatoulas, President of the Federation of the Hellenic Societies of Greater New York.

“Arcadians of Chapter #1, Geros Tou Morea of the Pan Arcadian Federation of America will participate and rent a bus for her members and their friends,” said Demetrios Filios, vice president. “President Christos Vournas has influenced the society to donate $1,000 to the Federation of the Hellenic Societies of Greater New York. We must be united. All societies of Arcadians of New Jersey will participate.” I decided to join the Arcadians, my husband’s society.

Hundreds of Greek flags flying, the national anthem of Macedonia was a spectacular sight. Police lines.Police lines.The program had numerous speakers. Contact https://www.facebook.com/panmacusa for a complete program. Apostolos Zoupaniotis and Dimitris Panagos of the Greek News, Hellas FM and Antenna were thanked for media coverage. Many estimated that about eight thousand persons attended. The two speakers who made a profound impression and can impact all proceeding on “Macedonia is Greek” were Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church of America.

“Macedonia is Greek,” said congresswoman Maloney. “It is time the world recognized this historical fact. This 25-year dispute must be resolved. I will begin a resolution Monday (March 22nd) to try to solve this dispute between FYROM and Athens.”

Archbishop Demetrios mobilized parishes whose Divine Liturgy schedule or other Sunday scheduled events coincide with the rally, to re-schedule so that participation in the Rally may be the greatest possible.  They came in masses, waving flags in busses from churches, federations and societies. The Geros Tou Morea chapter is an example of the many groups who attended.

“I am a born Macedonian in Thessaloniki for generations,” His Eminence said. “I grew up Rally!Rally!learning about the ‘Komitatzides (Bulgarian guerilla fighters who tried to seize Macedonia for Bulgaria). As soon as I heard of this rally for Macedonia, I backed it completely. When you believe it has a good chance of becoming reality. We must proclaim to the leadership and people of the United States as well as to all nation members of the UN that Macedonia is Greek. In a peaceful yet decisive way we show our opposition to the unacceptable use of the name of Macedonia by FYROM, the usurpation of Macedonia’s history, culture and symbols, and the expressions of irredentism.” He stood with the people, in one of his finest moments.

Many of the participants said, “they listened to Vikentios Malamatenios of Hellas FM all Saturday night inspiring them to come.” He mentioned Kolokotronis, Pavlos Melas, Greek war heroes and ended with “God Bless America”.  It worked. He galvanized everyone. Mr. Filos, the owner of Hellas FM worked in the shadows promoting patriotism of Borders, Language and culture.

The Rally!The Rally!In a time when persons are selling off their country of Greece, one person is standing in their way: Dimitris Filippidis. In his broadcasts, he says” We are lucky in the US to have the church’s support through the leadership of Archbishop Demetrios, who is backing the March 18th rally outside the United Nations at 12 p.m. to protest the naming of FYROM to Macedonia. We are giving Macedonia to our children. The holy soil of Macedonia is Greece and Greece is Macedonia. Turkish military boats are cruising illegally in the Greek Aegean.

Greece is being threatened.” His daily broadcasts electrified everyone. Many persons worked with Mr. Filippidis. I am not mentioning names because I may leave persons out. Contact Mr. Filippidis for more information on Hellas FM. His English is excellent, getting hi points across along with President Galatoulas. Both men can be Master of Ceremonies of any event in English and Greek without any outside help.

Rally!Rally!This event will go down in the history of Greek-American society as fighting for Greece’s borders and sovereignty. Now it is up to Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, the members of the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues and His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Church that “Macedonia Is Greece” unites the political voting power of Greek-Americans and their friends, the Phil-Hellenes.

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