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Greek Parade in New York City
Thousands of Greek Americans and friends of the community filled New York’s 5th Avenue to celebrate this year’s Greek Independence Day and to honor the rich cultural heritage of Hellenism. The celebration marked 192 years since the struggle for independence from the Ottoman Empire started in 1821.
George Venizelos, Assistant Director in Charge of FBI’s New York Field Office, was this year’s Grand Marshall. As leader of the Bureau’s largest field office, Mr. Venizelos oversees all operations and personnel in the five boroughs of New York City, eight counties in New York state, and La Guardia Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport. He most recently served as special agent in charge of the Philadelphia Division. He entered on duty as a special agent in April 1991 and was assigned to the Boston Division working white-collar crime. He was promoted in August 1997 to supervisory special agent in the Russian Organized Crime Unit at FBI Headquarters.
Before joining the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Mr. Venizelos was a special agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration and worked as an accountant at KPMG Peat Marwick.
FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, III named George Venizelos Assistant Director in charge of the FBI’s New York Division in October 2012.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg was among the dignitaries who participated in the parade, which as the tradition has it, is opened by a contingent of colorfully uniformed Evzones of the Greek Presidential Guard.
Chairman of this year’s Greek Parade was veteran community activist Dinos Rallis who received accolades for a job well done. Mr. Rallis was also in charge of a major gala event before the parade, held every year in Queens, in honor of people who have worked for the community.
The Parade attracted a vast number of New York marchers and participants and it was the culmination of a month long celebration of Greek heritage, hosted and organized by the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York that represents a large number of Greek societies, fraternities and local organizations. Founded in 1937, the Federation is one of the largest and oldest Greek organizations in America.