ITHACA – Aldermen Joseph Murtagh and Ducson Nguyen, both representatives of the city’s Second Ward, joined the parish community of St. Catherine Greek Orthodox Church in downtown Ithaca to celebrate the 197th anniversary of Greek Independence this past Sunday, March 25. The church is situated in the Second Ward.
The Greek nation declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire on the 25th of March in 1821, and went onto form the Modern Greek State after almost five centuries of subjugation and oppression under the Ottoman Turks. This year’s celebration was also marked by the fact that this is the 190th year since the Greek War of Independence actually concluded in 1828.
Mr. Murtagh, who is also the Ithaca’s alternate mayor, presented the congregation with an official city proclamation (on behalf of the Mayor and Council) in honor of the occasion. Part of the proclamation notes that members of Ithaca’s local citizenry supported the noble Greek cause at the time:
“Whereas, several key citizens of Ithaca during the Greek Revolution played definitive roles in elevating local awareness of the noble Greek effort to attain liberty from ruthless Ottoman subjugation… Now therefore, I, Svante L. Myrick, Mayor of the City of Ithaca, New York, do hereby proclaim the day of March 25th, 2018 as Greek Independence Day in Ithaca, New York.”
Mr. Murtagh and Mr. Nguyen then joined the St. Catherine’s community in the parish hall for a luncheon after the service, as both the American and Greek national anthems were sung, along with the special hymn for the Christian feast of the Annunciation. Church members expressed satisfaction and gratitude that their local representatives paid them a visit for the occasion.
“It’s really nice that both our aldermen could be with us today, and we’re very glad they could join us on a day that’s so central to people of Greek heritage,” said Nick Lambrou, president of the church’s parish council.
Featured photo: Nick Lambrou (left), president of St. Catherine Greek Orthodox Church’s parish council, discusses the significance of Greek Independence Day after accepting an official proclamation from the City of Ithaca this past Sunday, March 25th, as (L-R) Aldermen Ducson Nguyen and Joseph Murtagh and Rev. Steven Gousios look on. Provided