On the 193rd Anniversary of Greek Independence, New York City held a grandiose 2014 Greek Independence Day Parade yesterday afternoon.
The Greek community of the Tri-State area and beyond, teamed up as they do each year, to commemorate the Hellenic state's independence from the Ottoman Empire on March 25th, 1832.
The Parade in Manhattan represents the largest gathering of Greek-Americans outside of Greece, and has strong cultural ties to the Big Apple. Established in 1938, the parade brings over 100,000 onlookers each year with about 25,000 participants.
In his description of what the Parade symbolizes, Chairman Petros Galatoulas explains: "The common struggles of Hellas and the United States for independence, freedom, democracy, respect for human dignity, social justice, and for self-determination by the American and Greek Revolutions constitute the foundation of our nations' common heritage". Enthusiasts marched on 5th Avenue from 64th to 79th streets, demonstrating their Hellenism, as thousands of Greek supporters of all ages watched with pride.
Highlights of the parade included Mayor Bill de Blasio proudly waving a Greek flag with a huge smile across his face. The Parade's Grand Marshall this year was New York Senator Charles E. Schumer. His Eminence Archbishop of America Demetrios served as Honorary Parade Chairman. John Catsimatidis and Philip Christopher were the Parade's Chairman Emeritus(s).
Distinguished dignitaries from Cyprus, Greece and the United States participated, along with tons of Greeks from America's churches, schools, teams and associations. New Greek TV was on the scene offering full coverage of the event. The energy on the streets was felt by everyone participating in this year's impressive Greek Independence Day Parade!