On Friday March 22nd Senator Mike Gianaris, Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas and Queens Borough President Helen Marshall hosted a celebration of Greek Independence Day at the Hellenic Cultural Center in Astoria. This is the 11th annual Greek Independence Day celebration of its kind. Click here to see what the Queens Gazette wrote about the celebration.
In addition to celebrating Greek Independence Day, several Greek-Americans were honored for their outstanding contributions to the community. The honorees were Connie Stamatiades, District Office Manager for Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, Federation of Hellenic Societies President Elias Tsekeridis, and Greek activist and local business owner George Kalergios. Demetrios Demetrios, affectionately known as “JJ”, was honored in memoriam after he passed away earlier this month. Borough President Helen Marshall was given special recognition as a friend of the Greek-American community.
Greek Independence Day is a national holiday in Greece, commemorating the start of the Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire in 1821. The holiday coincides with the Annunciation to the Theotokos, celebrated by the Greek Orthodox Church, when the Archangel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary and told her that she would bear the son of God.