The praise and congratulatory greetings began pouring into the offices of the President and Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic days before the actual anniversary of Greece’s War for Independence.
And this year, they weren’t simple greetings. They were special– given the momentous bicentennial year.
The President of the United States issued an official proclamation, recorded a video specifically for the occasion and even hosted a private, by invitation Zoom session with leaders from the Greek American community and spent a good 10 minutes sharing his love for Greece and everything he’s learned that emanates from Greek thought.
The Prime Minister of Canada issued a heartfelt statement about the significance of the Greek diaspora to Canada’s prosperity and Scott Morrison, the Prime Minister of Australia shared an impassioned and celebratory message on video— even saying a few words in Greek.
The heir to the Crown of the United Kingdom, Prince Charles traveled to Greece with his wife to deliver congratulatory greetings in person and also participate in special events arranged by the Greek State.
High-ranking representatives of the governments of Russia and France were also on hand at the Greek celebrations– invited by Greece in an official capacity as it was the three Great Powers of Britain, Russia and France that supported the Greek rebellion against the Ottoman Empire.
And one by one, leaders from dozens– no, hundreds– of nations throughout the world Tweeted, organized events, colored their government buildings, bridges and monuments– sharing their well-wishes with the people of Greece and also acknowledging what the Revolt of 1821 meant for European– and world history at the time.
Hundreds– from heads of state, to mayors of the largest cities in the Western World, all shared in this special day– Except one, whose Tweet, or greeting, or proclamation was blatantly missing.
Shame on you Angela Merkel.
Shame on you for placing geopolitics ahead of European and Western values by ignoring this momentous occasion in order to avoid offending Sultan Erdogan.
Shame on you for also ignoring the rich history of the German Philhellenic movement during which more than 1,200 German nationals– obsessed with the Greek struggle for freedom in the 1800s– actually traveled to Greece to fight alongside the Greeks– and die for the cause.
Image: Hand sketch of Theodoros Kolokotronis by German Philhellene Karl Krazeisen.
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