submitted by Peter Makarthis on 15.11.2011
The Day of Οχι 1940
Hellenic Herald, 14 November 1946
The Historic Day of 28th October, 1940
Address by MR.ANARGYROS STRATIGOS
Vice-President of the Greek-Australian League of Athens
It is with pleasure that I respond to the courteous and flattering invitation of the Greek Branch of the Returned Soldiers League to say a few words to the Australian people through the Broadcasting Station 2GB on the occasion of today’s official celebration of the historic day of the 28th October which has been rightly declared as Greece’s second National Day.
The 28th October is that great day in which small Greece received the murderous and unprovoked attack of the Fascist Italy and with a single word, that famous and historical NO declared her great resolution to fight the invader in days when the Thor-might of the forces of barbarism and darkness were conquering nations, wiping out all-powerful armies and menacing the whole world. These were the days when even an attempt to resist was to consider a sheer suicide. These days when alone, completely alone, the proud British Empire was enduring the cruel blows of Fascism and Nazism and the World was wondering whether the deities of Freedom, Honour and Justice were doomed and barbarism, force and darkness enthroned in their place. In these tragic and critical, for the whole humanity, moments, the gallant Greek nation – unarmed, indigent, and unready, considered the mere thought of surrender as high treason and desecration of the memory of its ancestors, drawing added courage from a glorious history of three thousand years, having as only guide its indomitable spirit and unshakable faith of our LADY – marched to the sacrifice and death. To the brazen demand of Italy to surrender the sacred soil and the honour of Greece the Greek Nation replied proudly, NO!
That NO was the eruption of the volcano of Greek heroism, a splendour of the immortal Greek spirit. It was the indication of superiority, the symbol of virtue, the crowning of Greece’s ideals.
That NO was the dawn of the Victory of the Allied Nations, the first ray of hope in the despairing hearts of the civilized world.
With that NO followed by the epic fight in the Mountains of the Pindus, started the humiliation and the final destruction of at least one of the partners of the abhorred AXIS and the disgracing of the much boasted of eight million bayonets of the Italian Empire.
That NO exposed the falsity of the invincibility of the AXIS, strengthened the moral of the Free Peoples, gave invaluable time to the heroic Soviet Army to organize itself and successfully defend its Capital, frustrated the invasion by the AXIS of Egypt and North Africa and removed the threat to India. These and so many other colossal services, the heroic Nation rendered to the Allied Victory, service acknowledged and praise for all the Allies and their eminent leaders.
This has always been the fate and privilege of the immortal Greece to be the matrix of light and to spread light. Light of ideals, light of sacrifice. nigh her Parthenons she erected the Marathons, nigh her Plato and Socrates stand Miltiades and Themistocles, nigh her Plutarch is Alexander the Great.
To all these now as a brilliant epilogue comes the 28th October with its glorious NO, with its immortal heroes, with its unsurpassed splendour, with its sacred dead the shadows of whom account now to their great ancestors conveying to them the tidings that “Greece remains GREECE forever. – The blood-giver, the light-giver, the life-giver of the whole Humanity.”
The R.S.S.A.I.L.A. bestowed honorary Life Membership to Mr. Anargyros Stratigos during his historic visit to Australia 1946-47.
Inverell NSW Australia
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