March 2006 Newsletter
ORDER OF AHEPA
SANTA BARBARA CHAPTER #243
“Promoting the Harmony of Greek Culture, Service, and Community.”
“Keeping the Spirit Alive, and in the Mix in 2006.”http://www.ahepa.org/~chapter243/
The month of March is upon us. This is a glorious month which the earth awakens from its’ wintry sleep and we see new life bursting forth signaling the expectation of new beginnings, life’s continuum, and the rejuvenation of life’s energy. All this is true, and your Ahepa chapter does have exciting plans for this springtime.
There is also great historical heritage in the month of March which requires a bit of pause and reflection. Our great Orthodox church celebrates many important religious events in the history of our faith during this very important month. This month is also very significant to our Greek cultural heritage. There are important events in the history of the Greek people remembered this month that we adults should not forget and that our children should learn. I speak of the Hellenic idea of values that are greater than the self. Because of these higher values the Greek people and therefore Greece itself have served as an inspirational icon for the world.
These values have been described as virtue, valor, heroism, self-sacrifice, and love of freedom. These descriptive terms help to comprehend the meaning of the sacrifice at Thermopylae, the holocaust of Missolonghi, the dance on the rock of Zalongho, and many others. These true stories remind us of what Greece through its people has given the world and of our heritage and roots. These historical stories are repeated many times throughout history and the chronicles of the War of Independence kept by Greek historians.
But this is not all…..
It is a known fact that history always repeats itself….
I will list a few of the eyewitness descriptions of Americans and British of the titanic struggle of the Greek people against the Axis, of the heroic sacrifice of a small nation that faced two colossuses, remembering and defending the Glory that was Greece…At the time when the Greeks, greatly outnumbered, but faithful to their heroic tradition of past great battles fought despairingly to delay Hitler’s Balkan conquest, thus delaying the German attack on Russia and turned the tide in the European theater of war….At the time when the whole world held its breath and watched….At the time when our allies wrote about Greece:
“No nation has excelled Greece in the valor of its defense against aggression…Greece set the world an example of courage and integrity…it must not and will not be forgotten when the time comes to restore a sane international order…”Galveston Daily News 1941
“The Greeks battled despairingly to protect the retreat of Britain’s small force, perhaps the bravest sacrifice the Greeks had ever made…For there were no boats for them..C.L. Sulzberger, American War Correspondent. 1941…
“The debt we owed the Greeks two thousand years, we can never repay…But Europe saved will not forget the debt she owes today…Lord Runnel of Rodd, England, 1941
“Until now, we knew that Greeks were fighting like heroes: from now on we shall say that heroes fight like Greeks”…”The fighting Evzones from Hell”…Winston Churchill.
This my friends is the Glory that is Greece. Do you remember? Have you made your children aware of their heritage? Your Ahepa chapter remembers…This is one part of our mission-“Promoting Greek Culture”
We hope you will join us on March 26th to celebrate the struggle of Greek Independence and the overthrow of the Ottoman oppression of 1821
May the events of this month of March cause you to travel many avenues of personal levels to higher thought and awareness. . May we all be Blessed
Ahepa chapter President.
Excerpts are from the book “Old and New Thermopylae” by George A. Magazis,
Published by Eleas Kabanas, inc, Athens, Greece 1983