by Aggelos Skordas
An impressive demonstration was carried out on Thursday by Hellenic Navy forces in Thessaloniki, marking celebrations for the 28th of October National OXI Day, the city’s 105th liberation anniversary and the city’s patron Saint Demetrios. The one-hour demonstration was attended by the President of the Hellenic Republic, Prokopis Pavlopoulos and hundreds of Thessalonikians. It included operational parachuting in the gulf of Thessaloniki, Special Forces fast roping from helicopters on the deck of frigate “Navarinon”, attacking helicopters on pursuit of an assault craft as well as men of the elite Under Water Demolition team.
The historic armored cruiser “Averof”, the Greek Fleet flagship, was awarded the Grand Commander of the Order by President Pavlopoulos, who declared the people of Greece “say and will always be saying an uncompromising ‘No’ to anyone who might dare to covet our borders, our territorial integrity and our national sovereignty”, while sending a clear message to Turkey, Albania and FYROM regarding their bilateral relations with Greece.
“For us, Greeks, freedom is literally existential, principle and value, since, as we have shown in our long history, we can only live being free, in order to create and shape the future we deserve… This should not be forgotten either by us or by our partners. Because Greece, especially in these troubled times, is the outpost of the West and Europe”. At the same time, he added, we are equally determined “when our neighbours have the same mentality, to stretch our hands of friendship, our hands of good neighbourliness, to join together, to create peacefully”.
According to his official schedule, today the President of the Hellenic Republic will visit the Corps Officers’ Military Academy where he will attend the presentation of swords to new officers, then the Balkan Wars Military Museum, Halkidona Municipality and the Museum of Byzantine Culture. Tomorrow, October the 28th, Pavlopoulos will arrive at the 3rd Army Corps (NATO Rapid Deployable Corps/ Greece) and attend a wreath-laying ceremony. Later he will attend the military parade in Thessaloniki, concluding the city’s three-day celebrations.