Upper Darby, PA – The Greek Independence Day parade march along the Ben Franklin Parkway led to St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox church in Upper Darby. Described as Little Greece, by MC Harry Karapalides, St. Demetrios looked more like a train station from the outside as car and busloads of Hellenes dressed in folk attire flooded in.
Led by Mayor of Upper Darby Twp, Thomas N. Micozzie, the Greek-American community poured in to continue with the day’s celebrations this past Sunday. Greek organizations, societies, and churches performed dances, recited poems and performed theatrical dances all in recognition of liberation for Greece.
The St. Demetrios Greek school opened the event with a singing of the National Anthems of Greece and America. Mela Akranis, Master of Ceremonies and member of the Federation, then announced and gave over the mic to Stathis Karandonis, President of the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Philadelphia and the Greater Delaware Valley. Awards and speeches were given by leaders of the Greek American community. But one moment stood out an official proclamation we often take for granted.
The Greek People unveiled their national flag and declared their independence on March 25, 1821, from almost four hundred years of domination by the Ottoman Empire. Although ill-equipped and supplied, the spark of liberty and zest for life and freedom made the Greeks victorious after many years of anguish.
The Greek struggle for independence has been a light of inspiration for all oppressed nations seeking self-determination and liberty.
The Nation of Greece and all Americans of Greek ancestry will be marking this historic occasion by celebrating the “193rd Anniversary of Greek Independence Day” with commemorative ceremonies to be held on Sunday, March 22-23, 2014.
During this historic occasion, the Nation of Greece should be recognized for the achievements made by Greece in Arts, Literature, Science, Mathematics, Architecture, Music, and Sculpture. All residents of Greek ancestry should take special pride in their inspiring and long-standing heritage.
Therefore I, Thomas N. Micozzie, Mayor of Upper Darby Township, along with The Township Council proclaim today March 22-23, 2014 as
GREEK INDEPENDENCE DAY
In Upper Darby Township. I urge the citizens of this township to join in honoring the Nation of Greece and our Greek friends and neighbors in the observance of this historic day.
Thomas N. Micozzie, Mayor
Upper Darby Township
Delaware County, Pennsylvania