ALBANY – Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris and New York’s Greek-American state legislators introduced a resolution commemorating the 200th anniversary of Greek Independence. March 25th marks the date when Greece declared independence from the Ottoman Empire. In addition to Senator Gianaris, Greek-American state legislators include Senator Andrew Gounardes, Senator James Skoufis, Senator Daphne Jordan, Assembly Member John Lemondes, and Assembly Member Michael Tannousis
Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris said, “As the son of Greek immigrants myself, I hold very close to my heart the immigrant experience. This is a wonderful occasion to recognize the sacrifices of those who came before us and to celebrate the values of our Greek heritage. The shared experience of our diverse immigrant neighbors who call New York home is one we should all appreciate.”
Senator Andrew Gounardes said, “As a proud fourth-generation Greek-American, I'm honored to celebrate the Greek Independence Day by making March Greek History Month and highlighting the special role that Hellenism plays in the fabric of our state. On this 200th anniversary of Greece’s independence, it’s important that we honor our legacy while also looking towards the future, and manifesting the important contributions that the Greek community provides to our city. As Greek-Americans, we have an obligation to be active civic participants and to embody the Greek word ‘philoxenia’, meaning love of strangers, that is so ingrained in the Hellenic culture.”
Senator James Skoufis said, "I join my colleagues and the entire Greek diaspora in celebrating Greece's 200 years of independence. Greece's enduring legacy includes democracy, medicine, philosophy, science, and the Olympics - and, today, we commemorate our courageous ancestors who broke their Ottoman shackles to give birth to modern Greece. As a first-generation Greek-American whose father and grandparents came to the United States to begin a new life, I'm a proud member of the diaspora and proud co-sponsor of today's New York State Senate resolution."
Senator Daphne Veras Jordan said, “This year marks the 200th anniversary of Greece’s independence, a true milestone that I am proud to celebrate and honor with my Senate colleagues, millions of Greeks, and so many Greek Americans. March 25 – Greek Independence Day – commemorates the start of the War of Greek Independence in 1821, a day of history and destiny for the nation. As a second generation Greek American, I’m incredibly proud of my family’s connection to Greece where our roots run deep and strong. My father’s parents hailed from Mytilene and Evia, and my mother’s parents were from Skoura and Kastania. My father’s full name was ‘Democritos Demitri Venizelos Veras.’ His name ‘Democritos’ recognizes the notion of Democracy so long rooted in Greek history. The significance of ‘Venizelos’ is because Sophocles Venizelos, the Prime Minister of Greece at that time, christened my father and was his Godfather. My grandfather was a key figure in the creation and construction of the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation in Scranton in 1926 and our family proudly carried forward all of our time-honored, beloved Greek culture, traditions, and values. I’m proud to support our bipartisan resolution observing Greek Independence Day, and I thank my colleague Senator Gianaris for sponsoring this important measure honoring our proud heritage.”
Assembly Member Michael Tannousis said, “It is a great honor to have the opportunity to introduce this resolution to the Assembly. As the proud son of Greek immigrants, this resolution hits close to home. This year marks the 200th anniversary of brave and gallant Greeks coming together to defeat their Ottoman oppressors and ushering in a new age of Greek civilization. I am proud to introduce this resolution to recognize March 2021 as Greek History Month in the State of New York and will always seize the opportunity to share the celebration of Greek Independence Day with my friends and colleagues.”
Assemblyman John Lemondes said, “I am proud to support legislation that sees Greek Independence recognized in New York. As an active member of the Greek-American community, I know how much this will mean to my fellow Greeks who have worked hard to prosper in America while maintaining our cultural heritage. Syncharitíria!”
Deputy Leader Gianaris will join Senator Andrew Gounardes, Senator James Skoufis, Senator Daphne Jordan, Assembly Member Michael Tannousis, and Assembly Member John Lemondes for a virtual celebration of Greek heritage tomorrow night, March 24, at 6:30 pm. To download the event flyer, click here. It will be livestreamed on Senator Gounardes’ Facebook page. The event will recognize Greek-Americans who have contributed substantially to the New York community. The guest of honor is Archbishop Elpidophoros, the Archbishop of America.
Greek Independence Day is a national holiday in Greece, commemorating the start of the Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire in 1821. This year’s occasion marked the 200th anniversary of Greek independence.
Senator Gianaris is the first Greek-American to hold elective office in New York and has been active in promoting stronger relationships between the United States and Greece and, as a first-generation American, improving the experience of new immigrant communities.
To read the full resolution, click here.
To view Senator Gianaris’ speech on the resolution, click here.