A day to be proud of being of Greek heritage


In a month-long celebration of Greek heritage, communities worldwide are coming together to honor the rich tapestry of culture and tradition that Greece has woven throughout history.
From the ancient civilizations that laid the foundations of Western thought to the modern innovations in literature, cuisine, and science, Greek Heritage Month serves as a reminder of the enduring legacy of this remarkable civilization.
In Glen Cove, the rain may have poured, but it couldn’t dampen the vibrant festivities as the community gathered in Village Square to celebrate its Greek heritage. Spearheaded by the Holy Resurrection Church, this celebration marked a significant moment, as the last time Glen Cove celebrated Greek Heritage Month was back in 2002.
Zefy Christopoulos, former mayor Mary Ann Holtzcamp’s press secretary, first initiated the celebration. This year, the event saw renewed enthusiasm from community leaders, including Councilman Michael Ktistakis, who eagerly stepped up to usher in the celebration after two decades.
The recognition of the month comes as Greeks reflect on the Greek War of Independence, spanning from 1821 to 1832, which marked the successful rebellion of the Greek people against nearly four centuries of Ottoman rule. Fueled by nationalist sentiments and enlightenment ideas, Greeks sought to reclaim their cultural heritage and establish an independent state. The revolt, initiated by the Filiki Eteria and led by figures like Kolokotronis and Ypsilantis, spread across Greece. External support, particularly from Russia, Britain, and France, played a crucial role, culminating in the decisive naval victory at the Battle of Navarino. The conflict concluded with the signing of the Treaty of Constantinople in 1832, recognizing Greece as an independent nation.

The celebration in Glen Cove was held on March 24, with those eager to showcase their Greek pride, even if the gathering didn’t include aspects of Greek culture, like cuisine and dances.
Ktistakis emphasized the significance of celebrating Greek Independence Day, highlighting its importance in respecting Greek religion and culture, and honoring the sacrifices of past generations. He stressed the event’s role in sharing Greek history, heritage, music, and traditions with the wider community, hoping to instill a deeper understanding and appreciation of Greek culture for future generations.
“Hellenic Heritage Day is 60 minutes of sharing with the residents how we celebrate Greek Independence Day,” Ktistakis said. “Through public gatherings, religious ceremonies, cultural events, it’s an opportunity for Greeks to come together and show their national pride and identity.”
Throughout history, Greece has woven a rich tapestry of culture, art, philosophy, and tradition that continues to inspire and captivate people around the world. From the ancient civilizations that laid the foundations of Western thought to the modern innovations in literature, cuisine and science, Greek heritage stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of a remarkable civilization. March not only marks Greek Independence Day but also Greek-American Heritage Month, recognizing the enduring contributions of Greek Americans to the cultural tapestry of the United States. From literature and philosophy to cuisine and art, the influence of Greek heritage resonates deeply across various aspects of society.
Ktistakis said that he hopes the recognition of the day will help inspire the city to make the event into an annual celebration.