Mr. Speaker, for Canadians of Hellenic decent March 25 signifies one of the most important days of the Hellenic heritage. On March 25, 1821 the revolutionary trend for national independence burst out in a massive revolution that swept away the Ottoman empire which had occupied Greece for well over 400 years.
With the support of the allied forces of Europe, Great Britain, France and Russia, Greece was recognized as an independent state. For most people the struggle for independence represents a triumph of justice and liberal values against slavery and brutality. For others the massive Greek revolution exemplified the values of classical Greece and Christianity against the darkness of occupation.
Nevertheless, the contributions of people like Lord Byron of England, George Jarvis, Edward Everett and an array of scholars and ordinary people made the supreme sacrifice in the name of independence, liberalism, justice and, most of all, freedom.
Knowing very well how we Canadians value our rights and freedoms, let us join together in celebrating Greek Independence Day, March 25, 1821.