ALBANY, NY – Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris’ resolution recognizing March as Greek History Month in New York State was recently adopted in honor of Greek Independence Day, March 25th.
Senate Deputy Leader Gianaris said, “As the son of Greek immigrants, I am proud of all the Greek-American community contributes to the cultural, social, and political life of New York State.”
Senator Gianaris is the first Greek-American to hold elected office in the City of New York. Additionally he hosts a celebration of Greek Independence with local Queens leaders each year.
Co-sponsors of the resolution are Senators Andrew Gounardes (D-22), James Skoufis (D-33), Daphne Jordan (R, C, IP, RFM-43), and Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. (D-15).
The full text of the resolution follows:
Senate Resolution No. 629
BY: Senator Gianaris
MEMORIALIZING Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to proclaimMarch 2019, as Greek History Month in the State ofNew York, in conjunction with the commemoration ofthe 198th Anniversary of Greek Independence
WHEREAS, The year 2019 will mark the 198th Anniversary of GreekIndependence; and
WHEREAS, The Greek people proudly trace their heritage back thousands of years in Europe, where they developed an advanced civilization unlike any the world had yet seen; and
WHEREAS, Upon the fall of the City of Constantinople in 1453, theGreek people began almost four centuries under foreign rule in theOttoman Empire; and
WHEREAS, In March 1821, the yearning for Greek independence inspired multiple militias to engage in battles against the Ottoman Empire including an incursion into Moldavia led by Alexandros Ypsilantis, and various skirmishes in the Peloponnese, and on several islands; and
WHEREAS, On March 25, 1821, Bishop Germanos of Patras raised theGreek flag at the Monastery of Agia Lavra in the Peloponnese, marking the beginning of the war for independence; and
WHEREAS, In January 1822, the Greeks officially declared independence from the Ottoman Empire; and
WHEREAS, The Greeks valiantly waged war against their Ottoman rulers under the brave leadership of Theodoris Kolokotronis for almost nine years until a part of modern Greece was declared independent; and
WHEREAS, The war of independence was formally concluded in 1832 with the signing of the Treaty of Constantinople, further expanding the borders of a modern, independent Greek state; and
WHEREAS, March 25th is celebrated as Independence Day in Greece and in Greek communities around the world, commemorating the beginning of the war of independence; and
WHEREAS, Throughout history, the Greek people have exhibited an enduring sense of bravery in rising up against oppressors; with WinstonChurchill noting in a famed World War II speech that “Until now we used to say that the Greeks fight like heroes. Now we shall say: The heroesfight like Greeks”; and
WHEREAS, Ancient Greece has shaped modern society by originating the concepts of Logic, Science, Lyrics, Philosophy, and History as well as being the birthplace of democratic ideals, inspiring the notion of participation in government which influenced the framing of the UnitedStates Constitution; and
WHEREAS, Greece has continued to enrich our culture in the fields of literature, philosophy and architecture, and has promoted the modernOlympic Games, hosting the first in 1896 and most recently in 2004; we also honor Greek-Americans in New York who have improved our community, shown love for family, and shared with us their traditions to learn and celebrate; and
WHEREAS, The great State of New York has been blessed in many ways, including through the presence of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese ofAmerica; it serves as a beacon of moral and ethical guidance throughout the hemisphere from its Manhattan headquarters; and
WHEREAS, The State of New York is further enhanced by its long-standing partnership with the Federation of Hellenic-AmericanSocieties, which continues its tradition of strong leadership within theGreek-American community; and
WHEREAS, It is the sense of this Legislative Body to recognize thoseNew Yorkers of Hellenic descent for their enduring contributions to the educational, social, moral and economic principles that are so deeply ingrained in the fabric of our country and State; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to memorialize Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to proclaim March 2019, as GreekHistory Month in the State of New York, in conjunction with the commemoration of the 198th Anniversary of Greek Independence, and to publicly encourage the citizens of New York to reflect upon the contributions of the Greek community; and be it further
RESOLVED, That copies of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be transmitted to The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor of the State of New York, and His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Primate of the GreekOrthodox Church of America.