Greek Chief of Defence sends message to diaspora marking Greece’s National Day

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The Chief of Hellenic National Defence General Staff (GEETHA), General Constantinos Floros, has sent a message to the Greek diaspora in Australia to mark Greece’s Independence Day.

Full Message in English:

Dear Greek Australians,

March 25, 1821 – The day when the Greek nation threw away the rags of slavery and humiliation and clothed itself in the bright and proud garment of Eleftheria!

400 years passed and yet we did not assimilate, we did not lose our language, our faith, our national consciousness. It was not possible to assimilate. For these 400 years, a spark smouldered beneath the ashes, a spark kept alive by the untamed freedom fighters in the mountains (the klephts and armatoloi), the Great Masters, and the simple priests of the villages and towns. That spark, on March 25, 1821, became a fire, which ignited and devoured and blazed and consumed all those who had deprived us of our dignity and our freedom.

On February 22, 1821, Alexandros Ypsilantis crossed the Prut river and issued the revolutionary proclamation “Fight for Faith and Country, the time has come, O Greek men!” At the same time, the entire Moria is ready to explode. The unrestrained Papaflessas electrifies people’s consciences, the people mobilise, while Kolokotronis kneels before the icon of the Virgin Mary in Chrysovitsi and prays: “My Virgin Mary, I said and my eyes filled with tears, My Virgin Mary, help the Greeks again to rise up!”

As he asked, so it happened! The Greeks got excited and the place was filled with men, weapons and proud Greek women ready to enter the fight, ready to fall into the fire.

General Floros.

Today, the heroic array of all those men and women of steel march before us mentally. In the front line, horsemen, the proud Commanders-in-Chief of Moria and Roumeli, Theodoros Kolokotronis and George Karaiskakis, Konstantinos Kanaris with the burning torch raised, the invincible Nikitaras with the sword in his hooked hand, the hero-martyr Athanasios Diakos, the proud captain Laskarina Bouboulina, the inimitable free besiegers of Messolongi! And behind them follow the countless other named and anonymous fighters of 1821. They are mentally marching in front of us shouting the war cry: “Freedom or Death,” making the earth tremble.

My dear compatriots,

No matter how many years pass, the message of March 25, 1821 does not fade nor change. In an age of great challenges, in an age when certainties and points of reference are shaken, overturned or lost, March 25, 1821 gives us all the answers to who we are, where we come from and where we are destined to arrive. We come from heroic and steely people.

The men and women of the Hellenic Armed Forces, whom I have the greatest honour to lead, draw inspiration, strength and optimism from the inexhaustible soul of 1821. I assure you as their leader that we are constantly training on land, sea and air, systematically building alliances and partnerships, renewing our personnel, strengthening their arsenal with state-of-the-art weapon systems and being constantly alert and vigilant to do our duty if and whenever required, effectively ensuring the freedom, independence and dignity of Greece.

With these thoughts and with unshakable faith in the inexhaustible powers and value of Hellenism, I wish from the bottom of my heart to all of you a great celebration of our national anniversary and health, progress, prosperity and every happiness to you and your families!

We are proud of you, our expatriate compatriots of Australia, because you are progressing and growing in your field, because you keep our national identity alive, because you never forget our beloved Greece, because you “feel for the Motherland” even if you are far away.

Long live the glorious ’21! Long live Hellenism everywhere on Earth!

General Konstantinos Floros, Head of GEETHA.

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