By Nick Stamatakis
In a superb ceremony attended by a crowd of many local officials, the Metropolitan of Chicago Nathanael, and many Greek-Americans, the town of Aurora (a suburb of Chicago) revealed yesterday, Saturday, September 25, the beautiful monument donated by the American Philhellenes Society, in their central square. It was the culmination of a lifelong effort by Peter and Georgia Nikolopoulos, their sons, and a very dedicated board.
The photos below talk for themselves – and a visit to their website (linked above) will provide information on their amazing contribution to the Greek American community. Many American officials were present, including local senators. It was particularly significant that the National Archives sent their representative and also requested that a miniature of this monument be sent to Washington DC to be displayed appropriately at their collections.
From the Greek side, only Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, president of the 200th Anniversary Committee, made a serious effort to support the event financially and also sent a recognition letter that was read yesterday. The Greek Government was absolutely absent. The ambassador in DC, Mrs. Alexandra Panagopoulou, and the local consulate, although they were kept dutifully informed, they did not even manage to send a letter of recognition!! Absolutely shameful! If there was an event for the Holocaust or any other useless appearance – sponsored by any lobbyist – they would be first in line… The Greek-American community should note this and turn their back on them whenever possible… The only exception was a letter from an undersecretary of the Greek Foreign Ministry.
Even more shameful was the absence of some Chicago Greek community so-called “leaders”, who did not manage to leave their political and other “turf” differences behind. Some offered financial support (like Bill Mataragas of HANC) but many others completely ignored it. I have a word for all of them: If you cannot unite for such a significant local event please do not tell me that you can take part in a broader countrywide or global organization of Hellenes… Kostas Haniotakis, president of the local association of Enosis, was nowhere to be found… Yet, he spent days on end in Greece, pushing various self-promoting plans… And a few months ago, he spent days in New York, taking part in a failed effort to usurp the national organization of HANC. I could mention several other names. This is a warning – next time they act like “brother-killers” they will be fully exposed.
The same and even worse holds true for GOARCH and AB Elpidoktonos, who had appointed as President of the GOARCH Committee for the Celebration of the 200th Anniversary Mr. Dimitris Logothetis, a Chicago Resident. Not only he did not appear, not only he did not contribute one penny, but he did not send one letter of recognition… This is exactly what we can expect from Archon Mr.Logothetis and most other “Archons”. They are Archons only in name but in essence, they are low-class, self-aggrandizing, useless “nobodies”.
Why should the Greek government send representatives, the monument is to honor Americans with Greek heritage, not Greeks. We are Americans with multiple generations in America, What is it about the Greek government that we should respect? An athiest president? misguided Orthodox leadership? Without the Holy Mountain and Greek history of yesteryear, what would Greece be?
Greece is celebrating in every possible way the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution and is, after Great Britain, the most important ally of the US worldwide. It was a great opportunity to celebrate the long ties between America and Greece. Do I need to say more – because I could list 20 more reasons here… Sorry, the Americans who died in Greece 200 years ago were not of Greek descent – please go to http://www.amphso.org and take a look at their biographies…
LET THOSE WHO FEEL THE HEAVY
BRAZEN HAND OF FEAR BEAR
SLAVERY: FREEDOM NEEDS
VIRTUE, NEEDS DARING.
Ποσο ομοια ειναι τα λογια του Καλβου ΘΕΛΕΙ ΑΡΕΤΗ ΚΑΙ ΤΟΛΜΗ Η ΕΛΕΥΘΕΡΙΑ με τα λογια του Περικλη στον Επιταφιο ΤΟ ΕΥΔΑΙΜΟΝ ΤΟ ΕΛΕΥΘΕΡΟΝ ΤΟ ΔΕ ΕΛΕΥΘΕΡΟΝ ΤΟ ΕΥΨΥΧΟΝ δηλαδη για να εισαι ευτυχης πρεπει να εισαι ελευθερος και για να εισαι ελευθερος πρεπει να εισαι γενναιος!
Να γιατι τιμουμε τους Αρχαιους Ελληνες , διοτι διδαξαν σε ολους τις αξιες για το ΕΥ ΖΗΝ!
I was not aware of this historical event. Shame on me. I just spent some time navigating sites on the web about American Philhellenes. I am proud to consider myself one of them after reading the following historical information.
The founding fathers of the United States of America drew upon the ideals and principles forged in ancient Greece in constructing our nation. Thomas Jefferson called ancient Greece “the light which led ourselves out of Gothic darkness.” All who cherish a free and democratic government are beneficiaries of Greece’s legacy and thus should consider themselves Philhellenes. This is why Americans fought alongside the Greeks during their struggle for freedom in the Greek War of Independence, most notably Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe, and many gave the ultimate sacrifice. The Greeks received the support of Jefferson, President James Monroe, Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, and U.S. Representatives Daniel Webster and Henry Clay. Additionally, American Philhellenes rallied support for the war effort by holding fundraising events in several American cities.
It seems odd to me that the Greek government and the Greek ambassador to America ignored the Aurora memorial event for American Philhellenes who fought alongside their Greek brothers. I hope the truth comes to light soon.