Today’s Greek Parade in the heart of New York City, along Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, exemplifies Hellenism, brotherhood, and celebration. A pride and honor in our ancestors and a legacy for our future generations.
A parade that is the preeminent nonchurch-affiliated celebration of New York’s Diaspora, organized by the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York.
Yet, a parade that celebrates a great deal here, while the motherland remains, tragically, in a state of deep crisis. The country is virtually isolated, the government questioned from several fronts.
We do not wish to downplay the severity of the events, to make excuses, or mitigate the responsibility of the Greek citizens and their leaders. Moreover, we will not perpetuate the longstanding tactic of playing “victim.”
Rather than being helpful, such actions would be harmful. They are suitable to the weak and the lazy.
We do wish to emphasize, however, that Greece has a brilliant history – modern as well as ancient. The liberation of a nation after 400 years of oppressive occupation is nothing short of a miracle. Many played an important role in the realization of this miracle: the expatriate Greeks provided the intellectual foundations, the Great Powers provided support. Not least of which Greece’s inhabitants themselves, who took up arms and sacrificed everything for the liberation of their country.
So, the message of this year’s Parade is one of hope: Greece will not be lost. The people, with the help of Hellenes abroad, will find a way to overcome this monumental crisis.
The people will make even more sacrifices if asked to do so by an upstanding leadership. They will evaluate the situation rationally and will rise to the occasion.
That Greece will overcome this crisis is just a matter of time.
Long live March 25, 1821! Long live Greece, Cyprus, and all Hellenes here in the United States and throughout the world!