This morning the bell towers of the city churches are clanging like wind chimes in a hurricane; the welcomed sun is warming the flat roofs and countless balconies of Athens. Independence day in Greece is a day of deep national pride. In spite of the bitter winter, with hostile exchange between citizens and their state, people of all walks will gather in the streets and salute the boys in uniform, waving the national colors.
The Greek flag has nine lines, one for each syllable of the epic cry that initiated a revolution, “Eleftheria I Thanatos” meaning “Freedom or Death.” The alternating blue and white curling in the breeze is reminiscent of the sea; the cross in the corner shows respect to the Orthodox Church for her help in forming the nation.
The national anthem will be sung:
- I shall always recognize you
- by the dreadful sword you hold
- as the Earth with searching vision
- you survey with spirit bold
- From the Greeks of old whose dying
- brought to life and spirit free
- now with ancient valour rising
- let us hail you, oh Liberty!