HomeCulturalGreek Communities from Westford-Chelmsford-Lowell Area March in Boston Parade

Greek Communities from Westford-Chelmsford-Lowell Area March in Boston Parade

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BOSTON — Greek-American communities from across Massachusetts gathered in Boston on Sunday, May 1, to commemorate 201 years of Greek independence.

Greek Independence Day is typically celebrated on March 25; as that was the exact date that the Greek Revolution against the Turkish Ottoman Empire began in 1821, which would eventually lead to the first independent Greek state in over 400 years.

This date is an official national holiday in both Greece and Cyprus, and it is a major holiday for Greek communities all across the world. The holiday typically features military parades and historical reenactments, and is a time for Greek communities to spend time celebrating with friends and family, honoring the sacrifices their ancestors made for their freedom.

However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the parade in had to be cancelled in 2021, which would have been the 200 year anniversary, and rescheduled to the later date in May of 2022.

The Boston Greek Independence Day Parade features a parade down Boylston Street in downtown Boston, where Greek Orthodox churches, Greek cultural organizations, Greek languages schools, and Greek-owned business march in unison in order to celebrate their heritage and culture.

Amongst the parade were several Greek-American communities from the Westford and Merrimack Valley area, such as the congregations of the St. George Greek Orthodox Church, Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church, and the Holy Trinity Church in Lowell.

Massachusetts, which contains the fifth largest Greek-American population in the country, has long been a stronghold of Greek life and culture. The Merrimack Valley area is home to a substantial Greek-American population as many Greeks came as immigrants ever since the 18th century.

There was a surge in immigration after Greece gained its independence in the mid 19th century, and another surge of immigrants arriving in the early 20th century following the fall of the Ottoman Empire. The vast majority of Greek immigrants came in search of better job opportunities and economic prosperity, settling in mill towns along the Merrimack River.

The parade proceeded down Boylston Street before ending at the Boston Common, where there was Greek food, music, and traditional dancing offered by the Greek-American community for all who attended.

Towards the end of the ceremony, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu gave a short speech along with Methodios Tournas, the bishop of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston, and the “Evzones”, who are the Greek presidential guard.

In her speech, Wu gave her support to the Greek-American community of Boston, honoring the 201 year anniversary of the Greek Revolution. She also noted that is was the 100 year anniversary of the Greco-Turkish War, which ended with the forced deportation and genocide of Greeks of the Ottoman Empire, which is still denied by Turkey to this day.

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Alex Svenson
Alex Svenson
Alex Svenson is a senior at Suffolk University and a reporter for WestfordCAT and NECN. He primarily covers local government meetings in Westford and updates from MA Rep. Arciero and U.S. Rep. Trahan. He also covers breaking news stories with a focus on police, crime, and social issues. When not reporting, Alex enjoys sports, music, films, and traveling.