“Forty five years are completed this year from the mutiny of the Navy, an action of resistance against the dictatorship.
Today, you honour the Mutiny of the Navy, by being present in the only place of the Hellenic state where the flag has never been retreated over the last 107 years, the Battleship “ AVEROF”.
The entire Military leadership, our Religious leaders, all the Democratic Parties of the Hellenic Parliament, as well as the heroes who participated in the Mutiny of the Navy accompanied by their families, honour us.
Greek officers, non-commissioned officers and seamen, showing bravery, self-sacrifice, inward strength and vigour, stood up against an obnoxious regime which abolished the Constitution and any sense of respect to Greek people’s human and democratic rights.
These are the heroes of our era.
They are reference points which allow us to keep a social and national cohesion and compound any differences for our national benefit, setting the rule of law, the democratic governance, the stability and social welfare as our outright goals.
We are, therefore, in many ways grateful to the protagonists of that era, who fervently honoured our democratic traditions.
The message their struggle conveyed is still topical. It is updated before every difficulty, every challenge our homeland faces.
Today, ladies and gentlemen,
We have to realize that we have achieved each great democratic victory we have had by outdoing ourselves, through massive struggles and selfless social efforts.
Every thing we enjoy and we, unfortunately, take for granted, is the result of many ordinary people’s self-sacrifice.
This struggle goes on. It is an everyday struggle.
On one hand, we struggle to improve the quality of the institutions and mainly the effectiveness of the way our political system works, going deeper into the protection of Greek people’s personal, social and political rights.
On the other hand, we struggle in order to protect our system of government from the extreme and intolerant voices trying to degrade the huge institutional, historic and value assets of the modern Greek representative republic.
Participants of the Navy’s Glorious Mutiny, dear relatives of the great Admiral Nikos PAPPAS who is absent today,
We recognize the courage and we pay the honour due to all of you who risked your lives for our national dignity.
You have been consecrated in Greeks’ conscience, as those who honoured their oath during the hard times of the dictatorship and opposed to the demise of democracy.
You have been the yeast to mold a new generation of Greeks, loyal to exactly the same universal values of freedom and democracy.
Addressing to you, Mr. President, as the First Citizen of the country, I would like to emphasize the undisputable fact that the Armed Forces of the country, are, nowadays, the pillar not only of the Nation, but of the democratic institutions as well, by guaranteeing our national security against any external threat.
They are a healthy part of the Greek people, offering their services to society everyday.
Our Armed Forces unite all Greeks. They are a reference point for the Nation as a whole, and a field of concert and solidarity. They are a field of National Cohesion and peace, since peace is conquered through actions deterring war and not through actions triggering war.
The Armed Forces of the country, however, are ready, if necessary, to shed the last drop of their blood, defending our country’s national sovereignty, and to fulfill their oath; their oath to the nation, to our dead heroic ancestors, to all the Greek people, to God.
At this point, I would like to especially thank the Mayor of Paleo Faliro. Mr. Mayor, I am personally committed to you that as of tomorrow, in cooperation with the Hellenic National Defence General Staff and the Hellenic Navy General Staff, we will start an effort so that, next year, this beautiful park you have created will include also exhibits from our Navy, as well as a Column devoted to all those who participated in the Mutiny of the Navy.
Concluding, I would like to quote a phrase I have repeated in the past which the ever memorable President of the Democracy, Konstantinos TSATSOS, said to young officers:
“Do not forget that the power of every state office emanates from the nation as a whole, from the people.
Each one of us has to do what he is mandated to, since only then the nation as a whole can do what it is mandated to”.
The Navy servicemen did their duty.
It is up to us to do our duty when the circumstances impose it.
Thank you very much”.