President Prokopis Pavlopoulos hailed on Saturday the spirit of the “Ochi Day” for Greeks, which commemorates Greek dictator Ioannis Metaxas‘s rejection of an Italian ultimatum demanding a right of passage through the country on October 28, 1940, saying it serves as a beacon during turbulent times.
“The united ‘No’ with which Greeks responded to the Italian invasion on October 28, 1940, constitutes, forever and especially in today’s turbulent times, the forefront of our nation’s spirit,” Pavlopoulos said after attending the military parade in Thessaloniki.
“It is the timeless ‘No’ towards anyone who threatens our borders, our territorial integrity and our national sovereignty. A ‘No’ that automatically transforms itself into a ‘Yes’ for Peace, Democracy, Justice and Fundamental Human rights. Happy Ochi Day!” he added.
The military parade featured all manner of tanks, artillery, specialized vehicles, as well as marching units of infantry, special forces, cadets of all armed forces, police, fire fighters,andwar veterans. As is customary in Thessaloniki, descendants of fighters of the Macedonian struggle marched in the parade wearing the garb of their ancestors, while youths paraded in traditional costumes.
The parade also featured fly-bys of all the aircraft types in Hellenic Air Force service.
The military parade concluded with a show by an F-16 fighter jet, piloted by Squadron Leader Loukas Theoharopoulos, who made impressive maneuvers over the crowd.