“No other nation in the world’s history can free itself after 400 years of slavery. It is a miracle, nowhere else to be encountered, it is a historical exception. From the beginning to the end, the heroism, the achievements and the sacrifices are moving. And yet this miracle is the result of our ideals. We have survived as a race, we founded a Nation and we developed a Greek Identity. Greeks retained their religion, tradition and the history of thousands of years.
The conqueror wasn’t able to erase our identity, despite the slaughters, oppressions, enslavements, forced recruiting of Christian boys; around a million boys between 6 and 15 years old were taken or abducted by the Turks so that they would transform them into Janisssary – cruel and fierce warriors who fought and killed their own compatriots.
The Resurrection of the Nation required boldness and virtue, which was abundant in the few fighters of 1821. These few fought the many of the Turkish Empire feared by Europe’s armies. They won inconceivable victories on land and sea. The forerunners and the people paid with their blood.
The people who believed in its ideals made up the movement of the armed rebels: the ‘Klephts’. This was the nucleus of the revolution; those brave men, and worthy fellows, the fearless Armatoli and Klephts. The armed forces of the Revolution were its soul too. The harbinger of Freedom, Rigas Fereos, relied on them.
The War of Independence was Pan-Hellenic (of the nation as a whole) both on land and sea. Victories in Tripolitsa, Alamana, Gravia, Souli, Messologi, Salona, the islands of Chios and Tenedos… The Greeks with arms, culture and above all, soul and ideals proved that they could keep up the long and rich in History and Civilization Tradition.
The Association of Friends said the word in Morias (Peloponnesus) and the spark set off the Revolution; all Greeks shouted in one voice: ‘Freedom or Death’.”