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Greek community leaders honour Greek Independence Day despite cancellation of major events

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Greek Community of Melbourne president Bill Papastergiadis OAM, along with the Consulate General of Greece in Sydney, have sent messages to the Greek Australian community regarding the unfortunate cancellation of all Greek Independence Day events.

Celebrated on March 25 each year, Greek Independence Day commemorates the start of the War of Greek Independence in 1821. The day signifies the beginning of the Greek revolt, which was precipitated on March 25, 1821, when Bishop Germanos of Patras raised the flag of revolution over the Monastery of Agia Lavra in the Peloponnese.

In Bill Papastergiadis’ letter to the general public, he speaks about the correlation between the brave men who fought for Greece’s freedom in 1821, and Australians today fighting to overcome this tragic virus.

“Today more than ever, as we experience one of the most difficult periods in our lives, we can better understand the hardships of those who fought for freedom in 1821,” Bill Papastergiadis says.

The president of the Greek Community of Melbourne asks the public to be vigilant in times such as these, and remember to pause and consider this most important of days.

Read More: Scott Morrison recognises Greek Australian contribution in special Greek Independence Day message

“Whilst celebrating the heroes of yesterday, we can now identify contemporary heroes as we face this most virulent and complicated enemy.

“Fortitude and sacrifice made almost 200 years ago along with discipline and commitment is what we should indeed reflect upon as we face the challenges of today.”

Katerina Sakellaropoulou addresses all expatriates

The Greek Consulate General of Greece in Sydney have shared a message made by President of Greece Katerina Sakellaropoulou, who addresses all expatriates on this historic day.

“This year, there will be no parades and events for our national anniversary,” the president says.

“But any Greek, wherever he is, is sure to feel national pride and celebrate the day not collectively but in his heart and soul. This year, national debt invites us to show a spirit of collective consciousness and individual responsibility.

“I hope and hope that this fight, which concerns not only Hellenism but mankind as a whole, will soon be won with the cooperation of the international scientific community. And that year we will celebrate the 200 years since the revolution of 1821 in the most brilliant way.”

Read Bill Papastergiadis’ full letter below:

25 March

I have often prepared for this most important of days on the Greek calendar, full of pride and often introspection.

I have thought of the heroes of that revolution and the odds that they faced and I prepared in the knowledge that we celebrate today because of the sacrifice that those heroes made.

This day however I find myself better understanding their sacrifices.   

Today more than ever, as we experience one of the most difficult periods in our lives, we can better understand the hardships of those who fought for freedom in 1821.

Whilst celebrating the heroes of yesterday, we can now identify contemporary heroes as we face this most virulent and complicated enemy. Fortitude and sacrifice made almost 200 years ago along with discipline and commitment is what we should indeed reflect upon as we face the challenges of today.

We should not despair for the difficult times we now face – rather we should face today with the same tenacity that the heroes of 1821 showed.  With the same determination shown by our parents and grandparents through their darkest hours during civil war and occupation.

It is with this knowledge that I pause to consider this most important of days.

Stay Safe.  Stay vigilant.

Ζητο 25η Μαρτίου.

Bill Papastergiadis OAM

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