12/04/2022 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/05/2022 05:21
The Minister of National Defence Mr Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos attended, today Sunday 4 December 2022, as Representative of the Government, the Memorial Service for the 201 years since the death of the Hero, Commander in Chief of the Macedonian Forces of the 1821 Greek Revolution, Emmanouil Papas, which took place at the Holy Church of Agios Athanasios in Serres.
Other attendants were the Minister of Infrastructure and Transport Mr Kostas Karamanlis, the MPs Ms Fotini Arabatzi, Theofilos Leontaridis, Anastasios Hatzivasiliou, Eleftherios Avramakis and Konstantinos Boubas, the Commander of the C' Army Corps/NRDC-GR "MEGAS ALEXANDROS" Lieutenant General Sotirios Kostaloglou, representatives of the Regional and Local Self-government, as well as numerous citizens. The ceremony was officiated by His Eminence the Metropolitan Bishop of Serres and Nigrita Mr Theologos.
After the Memorial Service, the Minister of National Defence stated the following:
NIKOLAOS PANAGIOTOPOULOS: It is a great honourand of course a joy for me to be here in Dovista, the birthplace of Emmanouil Papas, which later assumed his name, because these are places familiar to me.
Emmanouil Papas, as we all know, was a leading figure of the Revolution in Macedonia. In essence, he was the one who conducted the Revolution in Macedonia, in a region where, due to its proximity to the seat of the Ottoman Empire at the time, the possibilities for success and favourabledevelopment were small in relation to other areas of Greece, as for example in the Peloponnese. Nevertheless, he made the decision, he dedicated his life, he granted his fortune, he fought, he suffered a heavy personal cost, having his family persecuted and tortured because of his activity and all of the above because he gave himself to the National Struggle.
His paradigm must not be forgotten. This exemplary National Fighter must remain forever etched in our memories and thus we must move forward to the future. The great Heroes, the true Heroes are those who struggle with small chances of success against the odds and in unfavourable conditions.
Greece has many similar Heroes to inspire us, so we can fight today against the hard and dangerous challenges of the modern era. Since, however, we have them to remember, that is why we fight and struggle, we move forward and we will succeed.
JOURNALIST: What message do you send from the birthplace of Emmanouil Papas regarding the continuing Turkish provocations?
NIKOLAOS PANAGIOTOPOULOS: The Turkish provocations continue, but I have the impression that the Turkish get more anxious the stronger we get. The only thing I have to say is that we are going to grow even stronger.
Subsequently, a wreath laying ceremony was conducted at the central square of the Municipal District, before the Hero's bust, and military contingents paraded. In the end of the festivities, a 17 km endurance race was conducted from the Serres Eleftheria Square, with the participation of hundreds of the municipality's children.