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Annual Armed Forces parade for 25 March - President's message -video

Featured Annual Armed Forces parade for 25 March - President's message -video

The annual parade of the Hellenic Armed Forces for Greek Independence Day (March 25) concluded on Monday after passing before President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou and political and military officials standing before the Monument of the Unknown Soldier at Syntagma Square.

Crowds collected in central Athens before the parade began at 11:00 am.

Prior to the military parade, the official raising of the Greek flag took place on the Acropolis at dawn, while a celebratory liturgy took place at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Athens led by Archbishop Hieronymos of Athens and All Greece. The liturgy was attended by the Greek president and political and military leaders. Prior to the parade, Sakellaropoulou laid a wreath at the Monument of the Unknown Soldier.

This year's parade included three 'firsts': the new training aircraft M-346 Block 5+ of the Hellenic Air Force that flew overhead in Athens, the parade of the forest emergency unit, and the Corfu island's 'Mantzaros' Philharmonic Association. 

Also participating in the parade were the presidential guard of Evzones that led the marching forces, parachutists, special operations staff, and the Fire Brigade's EMAK disasters unit. The latter was applauded by officials and the public for its role in Greece's devastating fires and floods.

Aircraft formations involved all branches of the armed forces and included F-16 Vipers, Rafales, F-16s, Mirage 2000-5 and firefighter aircraft as well as helicopters.

Several Greek cities celebrated Greek Independence Day and the start of the War of Independence with flag decorating, parades, and events also took place for in several cities throughout Greece. Some of the events include parades by students, girl and boy scouts, and cultural and sports associations, while other municipalities have scheduled the performance of traditional Greek dances, lectures, and theatre plays.

President's message

Greeks draw strength historically from unity and consensus, Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou said on Monday following the Greek Independence Day parade.

Specifically, she said, "Today we celebrate 25 March 1821, a top highlight of our nation's long history: the day our ancestors revolted against Ottoman rule, liberated our homeland, and established the beginning of building the Greek state. Their heroic example, their self-denial and bravery, remind us during our era's challenges that we Greeks historically draw our strength from unity and consensus."