The Deputy Minister of National Defense Mr. Nikolaos Hardaliasattended today Friday 28 October 2022, representing the Greek Government and the Ministry of National Defence, at the events to celebrate the 82nd national anniversary of “NO”, which were held by the Greek Community of Australia in Adelaide, with the honorary presence of the Honorable Euzonon of the Presidential Guard, as below:
First, he attended the Doxology at the Holy Church of St. George in Thembarton, officiating of Theophilastos Bishop of Sinop, Mr. Siluanou.
Afterwards, he attended the unveiling of the new Memorial to Fallen Freedom Fighters, held by the Australian Minister of Infrastructure & Transport and (Minister) of Energy & Mines, Mr. Tom Koutsantonisthe construction of which took place in the courtyard of the Holy Church of Agios Georgios, on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution.
Afterwards, Mr. Hardalias laid a wreath at the new Monument, while in the context of the events, he delivered the following speech:
“This year marks 82 full years since the morning of October 28, 1940, when Fascist Italy demanded the unconditional surrender of the Motherland and the surrender of its national sovereignty.
That unprovoked threat was answered with an adamant refusal, which was expressed at that historical climax with a significant “NO”, as the dignity of the proud Greek people and its heavy historical heritage, full of heroic refusals of submission throughout time, dictated.
And it was this refusal, combined with the spontaneous Palladian impulse, that constituted the project of national upliftment and unity of the Greek people against the arrogance of military superiority and the immorality of military expansionism.
The “NO” of 1940, became in a single moment a symbol of the refusal to totalitarianism and the resistance to tyranny, demonstrating the eternal spiritual armor of Hellenism, which crystallizes in the unparalleled fighting spirit, the love for freedom and the desire for peaceful creation , dominant elements of its centuries-old cultural heritage.
And it is this moral parameter of the refusal to submit, which captures the eternally unshakable will of the Greeks, to honor their heavy historical tradition and the sacrifices of their ancestors, so that “the hands of the fathers are not seen”.
In this sense, “NO”, does not differ in any way from the hymn of the Salaminomachians, with “νῦν ὑπὲρ παντον ἑγον”, giving wings to the souls and steeling their will for victory against the Persians.
It is instilled in this spirit by the oath of the Greek warriors at the Battle of Plataea, “I will not prefer life to liberty”, that is, I will not prefer life to liberty, when they were again called upon to offer their breasts against the Asiatic flood of Midon, fighting “for altars and hearths”.
It is inspired by the same moral background of “I do not disgrace the weapons of the saints”, that is, the oath of the Athenian teenagers, with which they pledged that they would fight with passion in order not to hand over the Motherland smaller than what they received.
It originates from the laconic “Molὼn Laveὲ” of Leonidas and the three hundred Spartans, who remained heroic guardians of Thermopylae, until the last drop of their blood.
It comes from the heroic response of the last reigning Emperor Constantine Palaiologos to Muhammad the Conqueror: “We all die of our own free will and do not waste our lives”, just a few days before Constantinople fell into the hands of the ancient enemies of Hellenism and Orthodoxy, meaning the end of the thousand-year Byzantine Empire.
It is irrigated by the battle cry “Freedom or Death”, which preyed on the soul and heart of the rebellious Greeks, throughout the struggle of the Palygenesis of the Nation.
It is spiritually fueled by the inhumane hanging of Patriarch Gregory V and the buried remains of the desecrated Chrysostom of Smyrna.
It is immersed in the adamant patriotism of the Macedonian fighters for the liberation of the unredeemed populations of the Macedonian land from the Ottoman dynasty.
It is strengthened by the unyielding will to search for a new life, for the hundreds of thousands of refugees of the Asia Minor disaster, who were forcibly expelled from their ancient homeland, Ionia, Pontus, Cappadocia and Eastern Thrace.
From this wonderful sequence of refusals to submit, the Hellenism of 1940 could not be absent and for this reason, October 28 will always have a special moral dimension in our collective memory, since it brings together in one historical moment, the memories, the experiences and values that have always inspired our national and historical life.
In this sense, the anniversary of “NO” will always be for Greeks everywhere, an opportunity for historical awareness and reflection on the unbreakable unity that connects the past, present and future of Hellenism, transmuting thoughts and ideas deeply hidden into actions greatness, sacrifice and self-denial.
At the same time, today’s anniversary is a day of glory and honor for all those worthy fighters of Pindos, who resisted their mental endurance, against the hardships and challenges of the battlefield, and gave hard fights with courage and self-sacrifice, writing the ” epic of the ’40”, glorifying once again, the Greek arms and holding high the flag of the national dignity of our Motherland.
So we pay tribute to the self-sacrifice of our ancestors, but above all we exclude the legacy they bequeathed to us, a legacy of unbroken unity, solidarity, collective mobilization and national unity.
Such glorious moments of our glorious historical path, project and characterize our country internationally and are an indelible signature of our Western civilization.
Today’s celebration is a first class opportunity to honor friends and allies at the same time. All those who fought with us, against brutality and intolerance. And Australians have always been our friends and close allies on the same side of history, fighting alongside us in mainland Greece and Crete, defending democracy and freedom against totalitarianism and tyranny. Together we paved the way for the great Allied victory in World War II, a victory that ushered in a long period of peace and laid the foundations of modern Europe.
Ladies and Gentlemen, dear expatriates,
All of you, the diaspora Hellenism of Australia, with the genuine love and devotion to Greece, your special Homeland, as well as your multidimensional contribution to the social, economic and cultural life of the country you live in, are the solid foundation and bridge for the further development, deepening and strengthening of the ties of friendship and mutual understanding between the two countries.
Despite our great geographical distance, Greeks and Australians, we remain eternally committed to the same universal principles and values, freedom, democracy, justice, human rights, the need for peaceful resolution of disputes, the prohibition of the threat of war or the use of violence and of course respect for International Law, including the Law of the Sea.
Ever ardent supporters of the vision and goals of the United Nations, we will continue to work actively for the benefit of global peace, security and stability, as well as the social and economic progress and prosperity of our peoples.
On behalf of the entire expedition that traveled 13,500 kilometers, I want to express our gratitude to you. Thank you so much for the unique way you embrace us and be sure we leave with feelings of love, gratitude and above all admiration for all you have achieved all these decades away from home. Be well, happy birthday. Long live Greece, long live Australia».
The Vice-Admiral was also present Efthymios Mikros PN Director of the Military Office of the Presidency of the Republic as representative of the Presidency of the Republic, the Minister of Infrastructure & Transport and (Minister) of Energy & Mines Mr. Tom Koutsantonis as spokesman for the Prime Minister of South Australiathe Minister of Tourism & Multicultural Affairs, Ms. Zoe Bettison, The Federal Member of Parliament Mr. Steve Georganasthe State Member of Parliament Ms. Connie BonarosThe Mayor of West Torrens Mr. Michael Coxonthe Consul General of Greece in Adelaide Mr. George Psiachasthe Greek Adjutant Defense Colonel Ioannis FasianosPresidents and representatives of Homogeneous Associations, as well as a number of Greeks in the Diaspora.
Finally, the Deputy Minister of National Defense participated in a working dinner hosted by the Minister of Infrastructure & Transport and (Minister) Energy & Mines Mr. Tom Koutsantonis on behalf of the Prime Minister of South Australia, at the Parliament of South Australia.
Vice Admiral Efthimios Mikros PN Director of the Military Office of the Presidency of the Republic also participated as a representative of the Presidency of the Republic, Federal Member of Parliament Mr. Steve Georganas, the State Members of Parliament Mr. Connie Bonaros and Irene Pnevmatikos, the Most Theophilous Bishop of Sinopi, Mr. Silouanos, the Consul General of Greece in Adelaide, Mr. Georgios Psiachas, the Greek Adjutant of Defense Colonel Ioannis Fasianos, the President of the Hellenic Foundation and former Minister of Education of South Australia, Mr. Greg Crafterthe Greek-Australian businessman Mr. Theo Maras and others.
First Appeared at: defence247.gr