By Catherine Tsounis
“General Theodoros Kolokotronis said ‘When we revolted, we said first for our Christian Faith and then for the Nation,’ explained Dean Moskos, AHEPA Empire New York State District 6 Governor. “The Greek Orthodox Church guided and was the unifying force of the Greeks. There is no Greek country without FAITH. The unifying symbol is the CROSS. Faith and Country unify our nation!” The Greek Orthodox Churches of Nassau County and AHEPA Family Chapters of Long Island participated in the Hellenic-American Heritage Day morning “Raising of the Greek flag” hosted by the Honorable Bruce A. Blakeman, Nassau County Executive. The event took place at the Theodore Roosevelt Executive Building in Mineola, New York. A continuation took place at the Hellenic-American Heritage Night, when one honoree from each Greek Orthodox Nassau county church was honored at the same legislative building.
The 11 am morning program was as follows: Welcome by Anastasi Stampolis, Chairman of AHEPA Family Chapters of Long Island Committee; Invocation, Greek Orthodox Nassau County clergy Rev. Father Christopher Constantinides, Rev. Father John Lardas, Father George Kazoulis, Rev. Father Gerasimos Ballas and Rev. Father Elias Pappas; American and Greek National Anthems sung by Aggeliki Psonis; Host, Honorable Nassau County Executive Bruce A. Blakeman; AHEPA Empire NYS District 6 Governor Dean Moskos; Daughters of Penelope Empire District 6 Governor Eleni Damaskos Christou; and AHEPA Supreme Region 3 Governor Theodore A. Stamas
“We welcome all cultures to Nassau county,” said the Honorable Bruce A. Blakeman, Nassau County Executive. “We have 20,000 Greek in Nassau county. Their teenagers participate in their culture and church. This is impressive. We want the Greek.
Community to have an open dialogue with us. We enjoy your festivals and do not forget to invite us. God bless all the Greek Americans here in Nassau county. God bless United States of America.
“We welcome the Family chapters of Long Island today,” said Master of Ceremonies and Chairman of the AHEPA Family Chapters of Long Island Committee. “We celebrate our civic responsibility and Hellenism at the historic Theodore Roosevelt Nassau County Executive Building.”
“We are proud of our Greek roots,” said Eleni Damaskas Christou, Daughters of Penelope Empire District 6 Governor. “Our sisterhood is growing in Canada, United States and Europe. We are ready to begin again what our founding sisters before them began decades ago. Their legacy continues.”
“I had the pleasure of being in Albany with his Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros,” said Theodore A. Stamas, AHEPA Supreme Region 3 Governor. “On March 22, 2023, the New York State Assembly and Senate passed resolutions recognizing March 2023 as New York State Greek History Month. In honor of this historic recognition, His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America offered the invocation at each of today’s legislative sessions.” Refreshments were served at the conclusion. This journalist was impressed that children from a baby carriage to teenage years were present, instilled with a love of their Greek heritage. Keeping alive Greek civilization among the young safeguards the Greek community’s present and future.