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Greek Heritage Celebration in Albany

NEW YORK, NY – Greek News USA

                             Photos: GOA/Dimitrios Panagos

A Greek Heritage Celebration -the first in person- was hosted by the NYS Senate and Assembly Greek Legislators in Albany on March 22, celebrating -in the presence of Archbishop Elpidophoros of America and the Consuls General of Greece and Cyprus, Dinos Konstantinou and Michael Firillas, respectively, the 202nd anniversary of Greece’s Independence, highlighting as well the special role that Hellenism plays in the fabric of New York State’s communities.

Once again, both New York State Senate and the Assembly passed resolutions memorializing Governor Kathy Hochul to proclaim March 2023, as Greek History Month in the State of New York.

“The relations between our nations run very deep. Many Greek – Americans in New York are proud to call both countries their home”, said in a note NY State Senators, Andrew Gounardes, Michael Gianaris, James Skoufis and NYS Assemblymembers John Lemondes and Michael Tannousis who also co-hosted a luncheon with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and the Order of AHEPA in the Capitol for the occasion.

Each legislator honored a Greek American from their district for their service as members of both the diaspora and their broader communities in New York and the United States. Honorees were Philip Christopher (not present) (Senator Gianaris), Jim Tampakis (Senator Gounardes), Andy and Kalliopi Chronopoulos (Senator Skoufis), Despina Ioannou Axiotakis (Assemblymember Tannousis) and Colonel Ted Limpert (Assemblymember Lemondes).

Consul Generals of the Hellenic Republic and Cyprus in New York, Mr. Konstantinos Konstantinou and Mr. Michalis Firillas, respectively, offered reflections on the historic solidarity and shared values of the United States, Greece, and Cyprus, noting that, in many cases around the globe, like those of Ukraine and Cyprus, the struggle for freedom and democracy continues.

Speaking at the luncheon His Eminence stated that March 25, 1821, a date that coincides with one of the greatest observances of our faith, is the Fourth of July for all Hellenes. “And this coincidence is a profound reminder of the nature of human liberty – the ability to choose, free from coercion or compulsion”, he said.

“When we look at our world today, and we see how the rights of individuals can be trampled underfoot by regimes more interested in their own power than the enrichment of their citizens, as Greek-Americans, we give thanks to Almighty God for the Birthplace of Democracy – our precious Hellas, and Democracy’s greatest achievement – the United States of America”, he added.

While in Albany, His Eminence also met with Governor Kathy Hochul, whom -according to a press release by GOA- he thanked for the state’s long-time support of the rebuilding of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at Ground Zero. The Archbishop and Governor Hochul also discussed their shared commitment to working together on challenges like substance addiction, poverty, and youth mental health. His Eminence later met with Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart – Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.

NYS Senate Photography