Sunday, April 22, 2007

Greek Parade And April 21st

Today, Sunday April 22, the Greek Independence Day Parade was held on New York's historical and prestigious Fifth Ave, there are only five nationalities that have such a privilege---the Italians, the Jews, the Irish,the Puerto Ricans and the Greeks. Its a roll call of church parishes and community groups, and kitschy reminders of the Revolution of 1821--a troupe of Ezvones march, a Kolokotronis on a horse, and too many floats heralding regional societies. There's a new addition, The Greek Warriors, marched in the parade.

I also want to apologise for not posting anything at all for April 21st. The Day of the Aprilist Revolution led by Colonel George Papadopoulos. Much has been said about the Junta, and many accounts have been written, To this day, however, Papadopoulos gains more and more honor to his good name, when one examines the many enemies this man still has after his death, more so than Metaxas, Papadopoulos remains one of the most reviled modern Greek leaders by the Greek political establishment, and congruently one of the most missed leaders of modern Greece, by today's common ,everyday, Greek on the street. We present one of the finest little essays on Papadopoulos written in English, blessed be his name, memory eternal , oh great leader of Greece's last Revolution:

(The Article Below Is Reproduced For Fair Use And Educational Purposes)

The Man Who Saved Greece
From Reds Dies in Prison
by Kenneth J. Schmidt

Colonel George Papadopoulos, the man who saved Greece from falling into the hands of communists, died of cancer in a prison hospital on June 26th.

Papadopoulos led a colonels' coup against a tottering government on the verge of collapsing to the Reds in 1967 and guided Greece with a firm but compassionate hand until 1974. During that time, Papadopoulos kept up good relations with Nationalist groups in Europe.

The victim of a counter-coup by leftist army officers in 1974, he was sentenced to death, but the punishment was reduced to life imprisonment in order to quell any popular outcry. While imprisoned, Papadopoulos briefly ran a political party, the National Political Union, which managed to win a seat in the European Parliament in 1984.

It was a measure of the gallant colonel's devotion to high principles when in 1990 he passed up a chance to be released from prison if he would apologize for leading the 1967 coup.

Burial services held at the main cemetery in Athens were attended by over 3,000 Greeks. Observers noted that the ceremony had more in common with a political rally than a burial service. Right wing and Nationalist groups handed out literature and waved banners. As the coffin was lowered into the ground the crowd chanted "The people will not forget you!" In the absence of an honor guard some activists fired their pistols into the air and other mourners gave the three-fingered Serb victory sign.

The annals of ancient history record the deeds of many Greek heroes, but in
modern times the history of the life and work of George Papadopoulos stands out as a legacy to the principles of freedom and justice.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

God is showings by move parade to 22 April. Glorious Whitestone AHEPA havings glorious diner dance on 21 April this year. They are the real Greeks. Move to Whitestone! Communist Greeks live in Mahnatan and kiss the OCA.

5:14 PM  

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