A very successful, emotional and full of Greek National Pride and resolve event took place at the premises of the Federation of Associated Laconian Societies in Brooklyn, New York on Sunday afternoon of December 9 2018. The place was filled to capacity with many people standing. Elias Panagiotakakos was the master of ceremony. Laconians and friends, Greeks and outstanding non-Hellenes, came to honor Konstantinos Katsifas whom they consider a Greek and a World Hero. Konstantinos Katsifas died fighting oppression and supporting Democracy, human rights, and freedom. He was killed because he dared to raise the Greek flag, in the cemetery of Greek Heroes in Northern Epiros, modern day south Albania. After singing the American and Greek National Anthems the event begun by the introduction of many dignitaries, moving speeches and placing wreaths, in front of the Heroic large picture and to the left of the standing Greek flag, by the honorary president of the Federation of Hellenic Societies Bill Stathakos, current president Mr. Kleanthis Meimaroglou, the president of the Federation of Hellenic Educators Mrs. Stella Kokolis, the president of Northern Epiros Society “Pyrros” Konstantinos Tsiouris, and the president of the organizing Federation of Laconian Societies Timoleon Kakouros. The moving Citation of Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas which was dedicated to the event and to the hero’s family, was also read. One minute of silence was kept to honor the hero. Mr. Melikokis from Hellenic Congress of America, Mr. George Georgopoulos, Mr. Nikos Diamantidis, Mr. Dimitrios Kalamaras president of Holy Cross community, Mr. Peter Vlitas, Mr. Dimitropoulos, and many others honored the hero placing flowers in front of his picture. After the end of this ceremony the world-wide Olympic Spirit and the Global vision of Alexander the Great was explained, connected and envisioned by announcing a movement for cooperation of the local New York ethnic communities and beyond. This movement aims to make manifest this benevolent, global, Alexandrian and Olympian Spirit. An exceptional group of Pakistani dignitaries including amongst others a college professor, three doctors, one civil engineer, one Army Kernel, the Kalasha patriot Laksan Bibi, as well as Timoleon Kakouros and other Laconians were announced as members of the committee. The Federation granted $1000 to each of the Greek schools of Holy Cross and Saint Konstantine and Hellen communities. The monies are to be evenly given to three students of each school who would write the best composition about Sparta, Northern Epiros in relation to Konstantine Katsifas, and the Kalasha People as the last Hellenistic remnant of Alexander the Greats’ Kingdom. In addition, $2000 was granted for the benefit of the Kalasha children’s education. Ioannis Koutalis beautifully sang three patriotic songs enthusing everybody.
In the meantime 20 to 25 demonstrators carrying flags and maps of a “Great” Albania which included famous and historical territories of Greece, had gathered outside to protest against the event. They seemed to promote territorial expansionistic designs against Greece. They tried unsuccessfully to disrupt this quite successful event by hate, foul, insulting, racist, anti-Hellenic speech and slogans. Police officers came and kept everything in order. Albania, which had joined the Axis of Mussolini’s Italy and Hitler’s Germany was eulogized, and Greece which succeeded in defeating Mussolini’s Italy and its Second World War ally Albania was called racist and Nazi sympathizer. Really? Have they read any history? Greece, the land of freedom and Democracy inflicted the first major blow and victory of the allied forces against the Axis and their ally Albania. It seems that the local police Albanian forces are still having anti-Hellenic racist feelings. However, that may be, the fact is that Konstantinos Katsifas was threatened and killed after raising the Greek flag in the cemetery of over 13,000 Greek Heroes who died fighting the Axis and the Albanian forces. It is also a fact that he was killed on the 28th of October, the Greek National anniversary of the Second World War of Greece against Mussolini’s Italy and its ally Albania. Why was that? Was it coincidental?
It is imperative that an international UN investigation should begin about this matter. An investigation about racist Albanian police oppression and practices against the Northern Epiros Hellenes. Enough! Violations of oppression and intimidation have to stop. No one should be threatened and killed by the Albanian police or other paramilitary forces for raising legally the flag symbolizing Freedom and Democracy. Konstantinos Katsifas had to run and protect himself after legally raising the Greek Flag. But why did he run if he was not threatened?
The death of this young Hero is horrible. It should never had happened. People who protested against our Federation’s Event to peacefully honor our fallen Greek and World hero should be ashamed.
Shame on you demonstrators!
Grammaticus is the creative director of Hellenism.