RENT A CAR
Greek Independence Day anniversary
March 25, 2006
The 185th anniversary of the March 25 Greek national Independence Day, which celebrates the start of the Greek revolution against Ottoman rule in 1821, was celebrated with pomp throughout Greece on Saturday, culminating with a parade by the Armed Forces in central Syntagma Square in Athens in the presence of President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias. March 25 is a dual holiday, as the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary is also celebrated on that day.
Today we celebrate the biggest historical event of modern Greece. A people almost unarmed, but with a flame in its heart and with a passion for freedom, rose up against an empire and gained its freedom, Papoulias said after the parade.
This gives us the message that freedom is not given, it is conquered. Today, the people and the Armed Forces are the guarantee for the progress of Greece, for its peaceful coexistence with all the peoples of the region, for peace in the region, which is necessary, the President continued.
He also expressed conviction that the Greek people, with their patriotism, and the Armed Forces, with their preparedness, would do their duty.
Prime minister Costas Karamanlis, in a statement, said that the March 25 holiday found the Greeks determined to make reality their visions for a strong and prospering Greece, for a Greece that was a factor of peace and stability in the wider region, for a society of cohesion and solidarity.
The premier added that we are in the middle of as great collective effort. A difficult effort which, however, we must complete.
Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou said that the March 25 anniversary was always timely, as it embodies the struggles and visions of so many generations of Hellenes...Visions for social justice, freedom, democracy, for a society of solidarity. We hold this vision today, too, and are dedicated to those goals.
Before the parade, a doxology was held at the Athens Metropolitan Cathedral, officiated by Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece, and attended by the President, the country's political leadership, the Armed Forces leadership, and the leadership of the Security Corps.
The doxology was attended by President Papoulias, premier Karamanlis, main opposition leader Papandreou, representatives of the political parties and the local administrations, former Presidents Costis Stephanopoulos and Christos Sartzetakis, the Armed Forces and Security Corps leaderships, and the leadersnip of the country's higher and supreme courts.
President Papoulias was greeted with full military honours at Syntagma Square after the doxology, where he laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier outside the parliament building.
Athens News Agency