GREEK INDEPENDENCE PARADE, MARCH 25, 2007
In their abiding wisdom, our Founding Fathers chose July 4th as American Independence Day, a time of year when you can generally count on picnic weather in Michigan. Not so the Greeks: March 25 (the date when Bishop Germanos raised the Greek flag at the monastery of Agia Lavros and declared, ‘Freedom or death!”) can be snowy, wet, and generally non-parade weather.
This year was different. A break in the monotonous Midwest winter provided blue skies and warm springtime weather for the 6th Annual Greek Independence Day Parade, which ran along Monroe Street, the famed thoroughfare of Detroit’s Greektown and the crowds were suitably appreciative. Floats and costumes abounded as the Hellenic community of greater Detroit celebrated Independence as a symbol of national renaissance. Preceded by the Detroit Police Department’s Color Guard, many divisions of Greek organizations proudly marched bearing banners signifying their allegiances, including St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, Hellenic Bar Association, Pan-Macedonian Association, Messenian Association, Association of Stereolladites, Pandretan Association, Cretan Ladies and Pseloretes Cretan Youth among dozens of others. Some traveled from far beyond Detroit’s borders to celebrate the Hellenes’ contributions to the world, including the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Toledo.
After rousing anthems of Greece, Canada and the United States sung by Danielle Caralis, the Metropolis of Detroit clergy and chanters sange Ti Ipermaho, remarks were made by his Eminance Metropolitan Nicholas of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Detroit. Music and dance rounded out the marvelous parade, and even non-Greeks such as the Visionalist crew were awed by the solidarity of our Greek community and to share in their pride of Hellenism and its rich heritage and traditions.