Archbishop 2

Message from His Eminence Archbishop Makarios on ANZAC Day

Archbishop 2

At a time when respect for universal principles and values, unfortunately, gives way to selfishness and self-interest, to greed and acquisitiveness, it is imperative that we turn our gaze to the past in order to remember, and inspire our young children with, the illustrious examples of ethos and selflessness that history has to show us.

An ideal opportunity to do this is today’s national day in Australia and New Zealand, during which we honour the ANZAC men and women who fought and sacrificed themselves for such high ideals as liberty, justice and human dignity.

The great privilege we have as Greeks of the fifth continent is that, in order to “turn the pages” of the glorious history of the ANZACs, we must first go back over the pages of modern Greek history. We initially come across them in Lemnos; the island that played a decisive role in the 1915 Gallipoli campaign. We also meet them in infamous Crete, where in May 1941 they participated with courage and self-sacrifice in the heroic struggle of the inhabitants of the great island for its defence from the invading Axis forces. And, similarly, we come across them in many other corners of Greece where, alongside our ancestors, they confronted the “monster” that was Nazism.

Besides, hundreds of ANZAC heroes, to this day, lay to rest on Greek soil, thousands of kilometres away from their own lands and their own people. They renounced everything, in order to fulfill their duty to humanity and future generations…

We need such role models today for our children! Examples of solidarity and selflessness; examples of dedication to high ideals and moral principles! Therefore, we must not forget them. And, indeed, we will never forget them!

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