Philly commemorates Greek War of Independence: flag hoisted, Evzones parade, historical ties celebrated, and Mayor honors tradition.
The Federation of Hellenic American Societies of Philadelphia and the Greater Delaware Valley orchestrated a celebration to honor the Greek War of Independence. The Greek flag was proudly raised over the city the day before. Dignitaries, Evzones, and the Mayor of Philadelphia were all in attendance.
A series of speeches, exploring the connections between the Greek revolution and Philadelphia’s history, preceded the striking march of the Evzones into the Municipal Services Building’s courtyard, which is located across from Philadelphia’s City Hall.
Elena Iliadis, a member of St. Thomas Greek Orthodox Church, delivered heartfelt renditions of the Greek and American national anthems. Stathi Karandonis, a past president of the Federation and fellow St. Thomas Greek Orthodox Church member, took charge of hoisting the Greek flag.
John Vasiliou, the parade’s co-chair, introduced the event, while Athen Koutsouroumbas adeptly fulfilled the role of master of ceremonies, presenting each esteemed guest.
A significant homage was paid by Philadelphia’s Mayor, James Francis Kenney, to the family of Father Katerlis of St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral. The tribute recognized his pioneering efforts in establishing the first Greek Independence Day Parade, which began at St. George Cathedral in Old City – a tradition that has continued to thrive.