Dear Brothers & Sisters,
Today marks 200 years since the commencement of the Greek War of Independence and our long journey towards freedom from the Ottoman Empire. The Bicentennial is a major milestone and celebration for Greeks throughout the world, and its significance is something that cannot be overstated. After nearly 400 years of oppression and hardship, the Greeks came together to fight for their freedom.
On March 25th 1821, when Bishop Germanos of Patras raised the flag of revolution over the Monastery of Agia Lavra the revolution and fight for freedom commenced. “Freedom or Death” was the war cry as the fight for independence raged. To assist in the efforts, allies from Great Brittan, France and Russia assisted in the Greek’s fight for freedom which ultimately prevailed in 1829.
Today, in cities across the world; monuments, buildings, and homes will be illuminated in the traditional blue and white colors of Greece. They are displayed with great pride and in honor of those who sacrificed so much to claim Greece’s freedom.
If your city or state is participating in today’s festivities, I encourage members to share your experiences with the Brotherhood on our social media platforms. In my home State of New York alone the following iconic structures and features will be illuminated: Niagara Falls, the Kosciuszko Bridge, Gov. Mario Cuomo Bridge, and H.Carl McCall SUNY Bridge.
When most people think of Greece, they reflect on the many contributions of antiquity which are shared throughout the world today; democracy, philosophy, mathematics, and medicine just to name a few. What many are not aware of are the struggles for freedom that were endured more recently. Let’s enlighten our friends and family of this historic day and the significance it holds in our history.
On this day, let us also pay our respects and honor our ancestors by remembering their sacrifices and carrying on the traditions and heritage that they helped preserve. Staying actively involved in the Pan-Icarian Brotherhood of America “Icaros” is one such way that we can ensure our strong heritage and traditions thrive for generations to come.
Damianos T. Skaros
Pan-Icarian Brotherhood of America “Icaros”