Archbishop Elpidophoros Remarks at the Doxology for the Greek Revolution In the Presence of the Presidential Guard

His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros

Remarks at the Doxology for the Greek Revolution

In the Presence of the Presidential Guard

April 12, 2024

Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine

New York, New York

Distinguished Officers and Soldiers of the Τάγμα Εὐζώνων,

Beloved Hellenes and Philhellenes,

Sisters and Brothers in the Lord,

         Once again, on the hallowed Ground of the World Trade Center, we have the superlative honor of receiving the Presidential Φρουρά – the elite guard of the Hellenic Republic, who represent the glory of Greece throughout the entire world.

         They have come to America to celebrate with us the Annual Greek Independence Day Parade, which happens this coming Sunday.

Today, though, we chant the Doxology of Thanksgiving and praise for the Heroes of 1821. We sing of their valor and we remember their courage, for in this phalanx of the Τάγμα Εὐζώνων, we behold their living memory.

We pray for the eternal memory of those who, for the sake of our Faith and our Homeland, fought bravely and fell in battle heroically. To do so in this place, the Saint Nicholas National Shrine, has a special resonance for all of us.

For the site of the World Trade Center, rebuilt after the horrific and villainous attack of September Eleventh – a day that we will never forget – was replete with Heroes of its own. Those brave fireman, police, and first responders who rushed in where even Angels might fear to tread – they are remembered on the walls of this Church, much as their sacrifices are engraved on our hearts. We know the names of each and every person who died that day, and we read them on every anniversary of that terrible day.

All the Heroes of 1821, all the freedom fighters who cast off the yoke of the Ottoman Empire, are not known by name, although we do recognize the names of the most famous. But as the Lord said of the trees of the field:

“You shall know them by their fruits.”[*]

Indeed, we know them by their fruits, which allow us to hold in our minds and hearts the unknown champions of the Greek War for Independence . For the fruits of their sacrifices on the fields of battle are the very lives that we are living today. We are free women and men, and our children are free, because of their courage. What bravery it takes to give up your life for any cause, but especially before the outcome is known. Those whom we remember gave the utmost oblation before the victory was proclaimed. But this is precisely why we celebration the Κεφάλαιον τῆς σωτηρίας ἡμῶν, as we sing in the Victory Hymn of the Feast. Because it is in our beginnings that we behold our endings. And in the bravery of these sons and daughters of Hellas we see the ultimate conquest.

Therefore, we extend our profound gratitude to Her Excellency the President of the Republic, for the presence and participation of the glorious Evzones today at our Doxology.

Our grand observance of Greek Independence Day will commence on Sunday with the Annual the Parade, following the Divine Liturgy in our Archdiocesan Cathedral. There, the proud Evzones will stand with us in solidarity and prayer as we mark once again our freedom in Christ and the freedom of Greece.

We welcome you to New York once again, noble Warriors of Greece. And we thank you for your faithfulness and your service.

Ζήτω ἡ Ἑλλάς.

Ζήτω τὸ Ἑλληνικὸ Ἔθνος.

Photo: GOARCH/Dimitrios Panagos

[*] Matthew 7:16.

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