17 April, 2007
The traditional Greek-American parade held annually in New York commemorating the March 25 Greek Independence Day, originally scheduled for April 15, was postponed to the following Sunday, April 22, after an appeal by Mayor Michael Bloomberg calling for limited movement due to an inclement weather forecast predicting heavy rainfall and gale-force winds.
Greece's Defense Minister Evangelos Meimarakis, in New York for talks and to take part in the parade, announced Sunday that the Greek Navy Philharmonic will extend its visit to New York to be present in the parade next Sunday expressing certainty that the Presidential Guard Evzones will also postpone their departure.
A doxology was held as scheduled, however, on Sunday at the Holy Trinity Cathedral officiated by Archbishop of America Demetrios in the presence of Greek officials and representatives of the Greek-American community.
Meimarakis, who represented the Greek government in the celebrations, said after the doxology that Greece, being a member of the EU and NATO is a factor of stability and peace in the Balkan region.
He added that Greece tries to persuade even those who react that they will have to honor their signatures and that the threat of a casus belli is not consistent with good neighborly conditions, adding that peaceful coexistence will benefit the entire region.
Greece is a peace-loving country, he said, but being understanding should not be mistaken for a sign of weakness as the country always prepared to defend its principles, values, ideals, visions and the Greek flag.
Referring to the Greek-American community, Meimarakis underlined that in the era of globalization it is important to preserve the national heritage, faith, identity, language, traditions and all those things that can keep the Greek community alive.
Source: Athens News Agency