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Greece Celebrates a True Independence Day Parade, Sending a Message to the ‘Powers’

March 25, 2015 (EIRNS)—Greece celebrated its National Independence Day today, the anniversary of March 25, 1821, the day when Greece proclaimed its independence from the Ottoman Empire. This year’s parades and celebrations take on a renewed significance, because for the first time in at least five years, if not much more, the country has a government committed to defending its national sovereignty.

Despite the rain, thousands came out in Athens to watch the annual students’ and military parade. During the last three years, the government erected barriers to prevent the people from witnessing the last part of the parade, when it is reviewed by government officials in front of the Parliament building, because four years ago the citizens hurled abuse at the officials, whom they rightly considered as traitors. This year the barriers were removed and thousands gathered in Syntagma Square in front of the Parliament, and police kept a discreet distance from the crowds. The parade included tanks with fighter jets and military helicopters flying overhead, in stark contrast to last year’s, when the government did not want to spend the money for fuel. Following the parade there was a great glendi, or festival, filled with traditional dances by men and women, boys and girls, wearing traditional dress, to music provided by the military band and dance associations.

Speaking before the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the foot of the beautiful Parliament building, President Prokopis Pavlopoulos said,

"The parade proves that the March 25 anniversary is not a simple anniversary; it is a living experience and the great uplifting message is the heroic contemplation of freedom,"

he added.

"Hellenism is waging its own battle under a united front, sending a message to all European people about the fundamental values of humanitarianism, freedom and social justice. These are the truths we must build the European building on. I hope next year our people live under better conditions and away from the nightmare that wounds them deeply."

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said,

"Today we must remember that nothing was given to us for free, everything was claimed after struggle, and when you are right, then you win,"

noting that the Greek revolution

"obliges us to vigilantly guard the Greek people’s freedom, independence and dignity. When the Greek people demand something, are decisive and have justice on their side," he concluded, "they can achieve anything."