“We are proud of the country’s Armed Forces, who with a high sense of responsibility defend the security and territorial integrity of our homeland”, noted the President of the Republic
“The spirit of national unity forged in the Albanian saga is a precious legacy for all of us,” said the President of the Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, after the completion of the military parade in Thessalonikiand expressed pride in the Armed Forces who, he said, “with a high sense of responsibility defend the security and territorial integrity of our homeland.”
“The “NO” on October 28, 1940 to the fascist invasion and the heroic resistance of our people constitute one of the most glorious pages of our recent history, which we respectfully honored in today’s parade. The spirit of national unity forged in the Albanian epic is a precious legacy for all of us. We are proud of the Armed Forces of the country, which with a high sense of responsibility defend the security and territorial integrity of our homeland”, noted the President of the Republic.
Mrs. Sakellaropoulou spoke with Mr commander of the F-16 fighter of the “ZEUS” air show team, pilot Christodoulos Giakoumis, with over 1,600 flight hours, while making spectacular passes and dangerous maneuvers over the parade ground, on Megalo Alexandrou Avenue, taking the breath away of the citizens watching, and the their dialogue was heard over the speakers.
“Greek women, we look with pride at what the Generation of ’40 achieved in defending the Motherland. We are and will remain ready to do the same. Honor to those who in their lives defined and guarded Thermopylae! Happy birthday to our Greece and to Hellenism all over the world”, the commentator emphasized and the President of the Republic replied:
“Mr. Episminage, we honor the heroes who fought and gave their lives in the epic of the 1940s for our freedom. And to all of you in the Armed Forces, the vigilant guards, who ensure our national independence and sovereignty. The country is grateful to you. Happy birthday and happy landings.”
New systems took part in the parade, such as the Marder 1A3 Armored Combat Vehicles (TOMA), the first of the series that Greece receives these days, as well as the newly acquired French 4++ Generation Rafale EG and Rafale DG fighter jets.
F-16, Mirage 2000-5 and F-4E Phantom fighters, helicopters in formations, as well as the historic Spitfire MJ 755 fighter made passes.
The parade was attended by motorized units, with weapon systems and latest technology equipment, and infantry units of the Armed Forces and Security Forces.
They were preceded by political departments, students, clubs, voluntary groups and other bodies.
The parade was attended by the Minister of National Defense, Nikos Panagiotopoulos, the Minister of Defense of Cyprus, Charalambos Petridis, the MP Kostas Giulekas, as a representative of the Speaker of the Parliament, the Deputy Minister of Macedonia and Thrace, Stavros Kalafatis, the Vice-President of the Commission, Margaritis Schinas, the leadership of the Armed Forces and Security Forces, on behalf of SYRIZA-PS MP Dora Avgeri, on behalf of PASOK-KINAL MP Haris Kastanidis, representative of the president of the Hellenic Solution, Kyriakos Velopoulos, the regional governor of Central Macedonia, Apostolos Tzitzikostas, the the US ambassador, George Tsounis, the mayor of Thessaloniki, Konstantinos Zervas, the metropolitan Anthimos, MPs, MEPs and elected members of the local government.
The procession of cars with the President of the Republic stopped at a distance from the official platform and Mrs. Sakellaropoulou walked this route greeting from afar the citizens who were along Megalo Alexandrou Avenue. In front of the platform, she was welcomed by the leader of GEETHA, General Konstantinos Floros.
The weather conditions were good and many Thessalonians watched the parade from both sides of Megalo Alexandrou Avenue, while many went out to the new beach to see the demonstration by the F-16 of the “ZEUS” team.
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