The President of the Hellenic Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou visited Rhodes on Sunday to celebrate the 73rd anniversary of the Integration of the Dodecanese with Greece.
Sakellaropoulou met with Metropolitan Kyrillos of Rhodes, South Aegean Regional Governor George Haztimarkos and mayor of Rhodes Antonis Kampourakis, and laid a wreath at the altar of the homeland.
“Today is a great day of remembrance and emotion. March 7, 1948 is a milestone in the history of the Dodecanese and the country. We are here to honour those who fought heroically for freedom and its reunification with Greece,” she said.
She also toured archeological sites during her visit to the island.
“Today we had the pleasure and honour to welcome in Rhodes, the capital of the Dodecanese, the President of the Hellenic Republic Mrs. Katerina Sakellaropoulou to attend the celebrations of the 73rd Anniversary of the Integration of our islands with Mother Greece,” Kampourakis told AMNA.
“The presence of the President in Rhodes at a difficult time for our island, and during a special celebration, is the highest honour for our region. The message of the Integration and the struggles of our ancestors for the liberation of our islands is timeless and is our compass in the current era of fighting for the present and the future of our children,” he added.
March 7, 1948, marks a historic milestone for Rhodes and the rest of the Dodecanese islands. It is the day these islands, the last link in the chain of national integration and the establishment of the modern Greek state (Hellenic Democracy), became an integral part of Greece
Throughout their long history, Rhodes and the Dodecanese, followed the fortunes of Hellenism. Eras of freedom and prosperity were followed by obscure years of decline.
Nevertheless, through the centuries their identity, the impetus of the Greek, remained intact. Fair in soul in unbearable situations, when the fullness of time arrived, they united with Greece.
The first attempt was made on June 4, 1912 when representatives of the islands, organized the Pan-Dodecanese Congress of Patmos and declared the independent State of the Aegean.
But it was the defeat of the Nazis during the WW II where Greece fought decisively and with many loses on the side of the Allied Forces that led the way to Integration.