Reflecting on March 25th: Proud to be Greek!

Taking into consideration all the turbulent times that Greece has had to go through in the past, with the culmination of today’s “crisis”…one can actually wonder…What is it that makes us so resilient and still proud to be Greek?

A couple of days ago, it was one of our National Independence Days! Years back…on the 25th of March, 1821, several men and women swore allegiance to a state that was breaking down in pieces and made it their lives’ aim to be free, even for just one hour, than to be slaves for the rest of their lives. To anyone’s eyes at the time, the attempt was expected to be a failure, but with God’s help, this small country managed not only to win the most crucial fight in the history of our nation, but also to be reborn from her ashes.

On remembering these glorious souls who sacrificed themselves, so that WE can be free today, Greeks…or shall I say ‘Ellines’ everywhere on the face of this earth took to the streets to celebrate, but above all to remember those who sacrificed and pay tribute to THEM!

Hellas was a center for parades, but also of protests! Nobody can blame us, the Greeks, for feeling fed up with the whole situation, and on a day like that, a lot of people found it right to show their real emotions against a regime that doesn’t serve the country anymore.

On the other hand, if you were in Detroit you would have seen the whirlwind of activity on Sunday with dancers in colorful costumes, marching bands and vintage cars on display for the 11th annual Detroit Greek Independence Day Parade. Under sunny skies, thousands of people watched the festivities commemorating the anniversary of Greece’s independence after 400 years of Ottoman rule.

Peter Panourgias, 53, of Troy, who happened to be one of the organizers of the parade, said “Today we acknowledge our Greek ancestors and their brave fight for independence”.

In the same manner in NYC, the parade took place with thousands of people attending. The most surprising thing that stood out was the act of solidarity from Serbia and Armenia…Serbs and Armenians participated in the Greek parade to show their unity and support for our country.

In these difficult times we’re going through, my heritage is really important to me, as it is to all Greeks who share this common bond…so YES…I am proud to be Greek!



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