His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia speaks of an opportunity for reflection, especially in the shadow of the war raging in Ukraine, in his message for the Australian National Day, commemorating ANZAC Day.
“If we go back in time, we will noetically meet ANZAC heroes at critical historical turning points defending universal values, such as freedom, justice, peace and human dignity”, the Archbishop characteristically underlines, pointing out that this is a finding that the Greeks,vand especially those from Crete, can confirm it, perhaps more than any other citizen of the country.
In closing, His Eminence emphasises that the ANZAC’s “taught us and continue to teach us to this day, by their example” and amongst other things, “not to rest in our own security” – while calling for a tribute by promising “that we will walk unwaveringly on the road where they walked, and that we will never forget them!”.
Following is the full message from His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia on ANZAC Day:
Anniversaries like that of ANZAC Day are opportunities for reflection on the historical weight of important events of the past, as well as for the extraction of valuable lessons with timeless value.
ANZAC Day, a day when the Australian nation honours its men and women who have fought with morals and conscientiousness, even sacrificing their lives, for high ideals, it is such an opportunity for reflection, especially in light of the ongoing war in the tested Ukraine, following the invasion of Russian military forces.
Going back in time, we will noetically encounter ANZAC heroes at critical historical turning points defending universal values such as freedom, justice, peace and human dignity.
As Greeks by origin, we have the privilege -perhaps more than the rest of our fellow citizens here in Australia- to be able to confirm this historical journey of the ANZAC’s, as it is largely in line with the path of our heroic ancestors in the last century.
Those of us who come from the martyred island of Crete, in fact, feel great emotion today, as we claim to honour the Australians who fought on the side of our grandfathers, defending the freedom of our island and the universal values against the barbarity and violence of the Nazi invasion.
We owe them gratitude not only for what they did then, in the relatively distant past, but also for what they have taught us and continue to teach us today, by their example:
“Let us not be silent in the face of injustice, let us not rest in our own safety, indifferent to the other peoples who are being tested, but to defend with all our might, justice and universal principles and values.”
Celebrating this year ANZAC Day with pride, we make two promises with emotion: That we will walk unwaveringly on the road where they also walked, and that we will never forget them!