The Minister of National Defence Panos Kammenos, the Deputy Minister of National Defence Maria Kollia - Tsaroucha, the Chief of HNDGS Admiral Evangelos Apostolakis and the Chief of HAGS Lieutenant General Alkiviadis Stefanis attended the celebrations for the Patron of Artillery Saint Barbara, which took place at the Artillery School in New Peramos - Attica.
The Minister of National Defence stated the following in his address:
“Today, we celebrate once more, here at the Artillery School, the day of the Artillery’s Patron Saint, the Great Martyr Saint Barbara, who was brutally tortured and finally beheaded due to her faith in Christ.
It is the day that we pay our respects to the members of the Artillery who participated in the national struggles for the defence of our Homeland’s independence and freedom. However, we also honour the current members of the Artillery, who are the capable personnel preserving this glorious Arm’s tradition, enhancing with their firepower the Army’s combative capabilities in the modern battlefield.
Our brave Artillery personnel, with a heroic spirit and love for the homeland, guided by the emblematic maxim “Power Through Knowledge”, faithfully remaining on the path of duty and honour, make an everlasting demonstration that the battlefields, the Aegean islands coasts and all of the Greek territory is the space of activity of the Greek Artilleryman and Woman, for the defence of everything the Nation holds sacred.
Furthermore, the Cypriot Hellenism is also under the protection of the Hellenic Armed Forces.
This is true for all the Hellenic Armed Forces constituting the irrefutable proof that our Homeland is capable and potent to defend its national rights and secure stability and peace.
The traces of our history are rooted in the hearts of our modern Artillerymen and Women, who valiantly continue the work of their predecessors.
All of the Hellenic Armed Forces personnel, irrespective of rank, at every corner of the Greek land, do the best they can for the Country, a contribution respected and acknowledged by all of the Greek people.
You are at the core of our Armed Forces, which constitute the pillar of our national might. You who daily execute your essential and difficult mission, armed with discipline, high professionalism and morale, faithful to the values and ideals of our Nation. You handle some of our most powerful weapon systems and secure the capability of the Greek people to progress and walk towards the future with security and optimism, without any distraction.
For the Military and Political Leadership of the Ministry of National Defence and me personally, the welfare of the human workforce constitutes a fundamental concern. We declared that 2018 is the “Personnel Welfare Year” and we proceeded to various actions for the support and facilitation of your and your families’ everyday lives, but also to the restitution of past grievances, so that you can execute your mission undistracted.
I would like to particularly thank the Chiefs of Staffs, the officers, the NCOs, the conscripts, the members of the National Guard and the civilian personnel for their effective work in 2018.
In the new year we will redouble our efforts for Armed Forces’ contribution to society and the citizens and we will continue to resolve our personnel’s problems, going forward with corresponding actions. This is the minimum we can do for you, who are, wherever and whenever necessary, present and ready to face any national challenge, as well as contribute to the requirements of society, securing peace and security for the Greek citizens.
Our country establishes new powerful alliances and comes to the forefront as a pillar of stability in the wider region of the Southeastern Mediterranean in order to effectively face the new security challenges and at the same time utilise its natural wealth, writing a new chapter for our peoples’ prosperity.
I came here straight from Cairo, where the tripartite meeting with my counterparts from Cyprus and Egypt was concluded with absolute success. It was a meeting which once more promoted the exceptional importance of the tripartite cooperations policy for which we strive and materialise for the stability and prosperity of our peoples in the sensitive region of the Southeastern Mediterranean. We are doing the same thing with Israel, Jordan, the United Arabic Emirates to the south and the Balkan states to the north.
At this point I would like to send a crystal clear message: Whoever expresses irredentist views against our Country, must know that there is no room for agreement.
The Homeland is finally recovering. We look to the future with optimism, faith and hope for a better tomorrow guided by our history, religion and our Nation’s ideals. Greece returns powerful and mighty. In this blessed land, home for us all, we can and must prosper. It is critical for all of us to understand that our Homeland needs national unanimity, stability and effectiveness. We owe it to our history, the heroes we are honouring today, but mainly to the future generations.
Officers, NCOs and soldiers of Artillery,
I want to congratulate you for today’s festivity and encourage you to keep up the good work, remembering the historical inheritance of your predecessors’ fights and sacrifices.
Always remember that the guns’ roar and the “punishing thunder” have been decisive for the outcome of the Nation’s struggles.
I bow before the heroes of Artillery.
I express my warmest thanks to the Artillery’s veterans, here with us today.
I wish that Saint Barbara will stand by the side of your guns and will give you and your families health and strength.
Many Happy Returns!”