WASHINGTON, Aug. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The leading membership-based association for the nation’s three million American citizens of Greek heritage, and countless Philhellenes, the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), has requested the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to resume negotiations with the representatives of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in an effort to rebuild the church destroyed at Ground Zero on September 11, announced National President Nicholas A. Karacostas.
“The Greek American community is displeased and angered that Port Authority officials have declared that a deal to rebuild St. Nicholas is dead,” Karacostas said. “We view the church to be of national significance given the circumstances of its fate; a fate that has all but been forgotten by officials. We urge the Port Authority to honor its commitment to the congregation of St. Nicholas and resume negotiations to rebuild the church at its rightful place at Ground Zero.
Karacostas expressed the organization’s disappointment in a letter sent August 18, 2010 to Mr. Christopher Ward, executive director, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. He added AHEPA will not tolerate additional bureaucratic stall tactics in the effort to rebuild the church, which has served the community at large since 1922.”
Founded in 1922 in Atlanta, Georgia, to protect individuals from the evils of bigotry and discrimination, AHEPA is the largest and oldest grassroots association of American citizens of Greek heritage and Philhellenes with more than 350 chapters across the United States, Canada, Greece and Cyprus.
The mission of AHEPA is to promote the ancient Greek ideals of Education, Philanthropy, Civic Responsibility, and Family and Individual Excellence through community service and volunteerism.
For more information, please visit www.ahepa.org.
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August 18, 2010
Mr. Christopher O. Ward
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
One Madison Avenue, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10010
Dear Mr. Ward,
On behalf of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), the largest and oldest membership-based association of American citizens of Greek heritage, and countless Philhellenes, I am requesting the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to resume its part in the effort to rebuild St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, the only church destroyed in the attacks of September 11, 2001. I am also outreaching to you as a native New Yorker.
We understand negotiations between the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the church have stalled to the point of silence on the Port Authority's part. We also understand, according to news reports, that Port Authority officials stated "the deal is dead."(1) AHEPA has supported the rebuilding of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, and as such, we view the position of the Port Authority to be unacceptable. This is not a matter of building one religious structure over another. Instead, this is a matter of the Port Authority seeing through its commitment to move a post-September 11 rebuilding process of national significance along to its proper completion. The Greek American community is displeased and angered that after nearly nine years little tangible progress is evident. Simply stated, we will not tolerate further bureaucratic stall tactics.
Therefore, on behalf of the Greek American community, we request the Port Authority to honor its commitment to the congregation of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and resume negotiations to help rebuild the venerable little church that has served the community at large since 1922.
Nicholas A. Karacostas
The mission of AHEPA is to promote the ancient Greek ideals of education, philanthropy, civic responsibility and family and individual excellence through community service and volunteerism.
Cc: Governor David Paterson
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
U.S. Representative Carolyn Maloney
SOURCE American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association