clearn.png
Saturday December 4th, 2021 9:32PM

Greek Independence Day events culminate in military parade

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Fighter jets flew by the ancient Acropolis and tanks rumbled past parliament in central Athens on Thursday as Greece’s celebrations for the bicentenary of its war of independence culminated in a military parade attended by dignitaries from Britain, France and Russia but no members of the public.

With Greece struggling to contain a renewed surge of coronavirus infections that are straining the health system, the crowds that normally line the route were banned from this year’s Independence Day parade, with the public able to watch only through live television coverage or online streaming.

Greece invited dignitaries from Russia, France and Britain, the great powers that had provided vital assistance to the nation’s bid for independence from the Ottoman Empire, to attend the celebrations marking 200 years since the start of the Greek rebellion.

Britain's Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, and French Defense Minister Florence Parly were in Athens for the events, along with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades. French President Emanuel Macron had been due to attend, but pulled out a few days earlier as coronavirus infections spiked in France and he tightened restrictions domestically.

Charles, Mishustin, Parly and Anastasiades laid wreaths at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier outside parliament before the start of the military parade, which included a mounted cavalry section and marching troops from the army, navy and air force, as well as the police, fire department and coast guard.

Fighter planes and helicopters flew in formation above central Athens — they included a U.S. Air Force plane, French Rafale jets and Britain's Royal Air Force Voyager aircraft in which Prince Charles flew to Greece, the Union Jack emblazoned on its tail.

Unable to watch the parade in person, many Athenians came out onto balconies in the center of the city to watch the flyby, snapping pictures with cameras and mobile phones.

The Greek independence revolt started in the Mani region of the southern Peloponnese peninsula in 1821 and continued for years without official foreign support, with the Greeks gradually becoming riven by dissent and infighting. In 1827, with the revolution almost squashed, the war fleets of Britain, Russia and France intervened to destroy a Turkish-Egyptian fleet in the Bay of Navarino, in the western Peloponnese.

This crucial blow enabled the Greeks to fight on and eventually gain independence in 1830.

Speaking during an official dinner Wednesday night, Prince Charles noted his ties to Greece, the land of his grandfather and of his father’s birth.

“In feeling a profound connection to Greece — her landscapes, her history and her culture — I am hardly alone: there is something of her essence in us all,” he said. “As the wellspring of Western civilization, Greece’s spirit runs through our societies and our democracies. Without her, our laws, our art, our way of life, would never have flourished as they have.”

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis kicked off Thursday’s celebrations by attending the raising of the Greek flag on the Acropolis.

“Two centuries ago, a handful of determined fighters within and outside Greece, raised the banner of independence. They set in motion a process the end of which not even they themselves could have dreamed of. With the help of their allies, they fought heroically and won their freedom,” Mitsotakis said in a speech.

Throughout Greece’s history as an independent nation “we have lived through moments of triumph and of pain. Wise decisions, but also great mistakes,” he said. “But in all of humanity’s great tribulations our land was always on the right side of history.”

Mitsotakis noted that this year’s Independence Day was “unique, but also different, as it finds us in the final battle with the pandemic. With great difficulties, but with victory now visible. Besides, our national vaccination campaign is named Freedom.”

Despite being under lockdown-type measures since early November, Greece has seen spiraling coronavirus infections, with record numbers of patients intubated in intensive care units and dozens of daily deaths. Hospitals are strained to their limits, with many ICUs at capacity. As of Wednesday evening, the overall pandemic death toll had reached 7,649 and there were about 245,000 total confirmed infections in the country of around 11 million.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP World News
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Greek Independence Day events culminate in military parade
Greece’s celebrations for the bicentenary of the start of the nation’s war of independence are culminating in a military parade and warplane flyby in Athens on Thursday, the country’s Independence Day
4:13AM ( 32 minutes ago )
Stuck ship in Egypt's Suez Canal imperils shipping worldwide
The Japanese owner of a skyscraper-sized cargo ship wedged across Egypt’s Suez Canal has apologized for the incident that’s imperling global shipping
4:09AM ( 37 minutes ago )
Philippines deploys more patrol ships amid rift with China
The Philippine military has ordered more navy ships to be deployed for sovereignty patrols in the South China Sea, where a Chinese flotilla has swarmed around a disputed reef and ignored Manila’s demand to leave the area
4:02AM ( 43 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Sri Lanka to buy 7 million Sputnik V shots
Sri Lanka has decided to purchase 7 million doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine
2:39AM ( 2 hours ago )
Buttigieg pitches infrastructure needs to divided Congress
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg says America's infrastructure needs exceed $1 trillion and that other countries like China are pulling ahead
12:36AM ( 4 hours ago )
Lawmakers: Require nursing homes to disclose vaccine data
Nursing homes have to publicly disclose their vaccination rates for flu and pneumonia, but there’s no similar mandate for COVID-19 shots
12:27AM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
The Latest: Utah's mask mandate to end April 10
Utah’s mask mandate will end April 10 after the Republican governor signed a bill that lays out a new timeline for lifting some of the state’s COVID-19 restrictions
7:54PM ( 8 hours ago )
People downwind of atomic blasts renew push for US payout
The president of the Navajo Nation and New Mexico residents who live downwind from the site of the world’s first atomic blast are among those seeking compensation from the U.S. government following uranium mining and nuclear testing carried out during the Cold War
7:06PM ( 9 hours ago )
Virginia, with 2nd-most executions, outlaws death penalty
Virginia has become the 23rd state to abolish the death penalty
6:39PM ( 10 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
AstraZeneca confirms strong vaccine protection after US rift
AstraZeneca insisted Wednesday that its COVID-19 vaccine is strongly effective even after counting additional illnesses in its disputed U.S. study, the latest in an extraordinary public rift with American officials
11:26PM ( 5 hours ago )
Hong Kong vaccination drive struggles to gain public trust
Hong Kong’s sudden suspension of a COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech has been another blow to its vaccination program
11:23PM ( 5 hours ago )
South Korea says North Korea fires 2 missiles into sea
South Korea says North Korea has fired two unidentified projectiles into its eastern waters as it revives its testing activity to expand its military capabilities and pressure the Biden administration while nuclear negotiations remain stalled
9:37PM ( 7 hours ago )
AP World News
Stuck ship in Egypt's Suez Canal imperils shipping worldwide
The Japanese owner of a skyscraper-sized cargo ship wedged across Egypt’s Suez Canal has apologized for the incident that’s imperling global shipping
4:09AM ( 37 minutes ago )
Philippines deploys more patrol ships amid rift with China
The Philippine military has ordered more navy ships to be deployed for sovereignty patrols in the South China Sea, where a Chinese flotilla has swarmed around a disputed reef and ignored Manila’s demand to leave the area
4:02AM ( 43 minutes ago )
Italy: Teen in hijab aims to be 'Afro-influencer' on TikTok
A 19-year-old woman in Italy who makes TikTok videos wearing a hijab and has 330,000 followers says she is trying to destroy stereotypes with her content
3:56AM ( 50 minutes ago )
Owner of ship stuck in Egypt's Suez Canal offers apology
The Japanese owner of a skyscraper-sized cargo ship wedged across Egypt’s Suez Canal has apologized for the incident that’s imperling global shipping
3:40AM ( 1 hour ago )
1 report, 4 theories: Scientists mull clues on virus' origin
A team of international and Chinese scientists is poised to report on its joint search for the origins of the coronavirus that sparked a pandemic after it was first detected in China over a year ago
3:33AM ( 1 hour ago )