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Happy National Day October 27, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Culture Heritage.
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 HomeboyMediaNews Editor sends his best wishes to all the Greek Nation and the Greek people in Greece, Cyprus and the Greek Diaspora all over the world, on the occassion of our National Day on 28 October

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Greece celebrates it’s National Day on 28 October commemorating the “OCHI Day” [Ochi in Greek means No] the anniversary of General Ioannis Metaxas’ flat denial to the Italians’ request for free passage to invade Greece.

In October, 1940, Italy, backed by Hitler, wanted to occupy Greece; Metaxas simply responded “Ochi!” – “No!” in Greek. It was a “No!” that brought Greece into the war on the Allied side; for a time, Greece was Britain’s only ally against Hitler.

Greece not only did not give Mussolini’s forces free passage, they seized the offensive and drove them back through most of Albania.

Some historians credit the Greeks’ fierce resistance to the later German paratrooper landings during the Battle of Crete with convincing Hitler that such attacks cost too many German lives. The from-the-air invasion of Crete was the last attempt by the Nazis to use this technique, and the extra resources required to subdue Greece drained and distracted the Third Reich from its efforts on other fronts.

Had Metaxas not said “No!”, World War II might well have lasted considerably longer. One theory suggests that had Greece agreed to surrender without resistance, Hitler would have been able to invade Russia in spring, rather than making his disastrous attempt to take it in winter. Western nations, always happy to credit ancient Greece with the development of democracy, may owe modern Greece an equal but usually unrecognized debt for helping to preserve democracy against its enemies during World War II.

On Ochi Day, all major cities will offer a military parade, and many Greek Orthodox churches will be holding special services. Coastal towns may have naval parades or other celebrations on the waterfront.

Thessaloniki offers a triple celebration, paying reverence to the patron saint of the city, Saint Dimitrios, celebrating its freedom from the Ottomans, and commemorating the entry of Greece into World War II.

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Related Links > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ohi_Day

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