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Ithaka on the Horizon by Stavro Nashi

Ithaka on the Horizon

by Stavro Nashi

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ITHAKA ON THE HORIZON: A Greek-American Journey

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Greek Heritage Festival Photos

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    Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, Saco, Maine, USA 10-12 July 2009

Halki Seminary

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    The Patriarchal Theological Seminary of Halki is located on the Turkish island known as Heyelbiada in the Bosporus straits. It was closed in 1971 by the Turkish government and is the subject of much controversy since it is the only seminary in Turkey and the position of Ecumenical Patriarch can only be filled by a Turkish citizen. Sign the petition to reopen it at www.greece.org

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01 November 2012

Comments

Telemachus

Bravo Stavro, let's remind ourselves and our German and other European "friends" what blood coarses through our veins.

As Greeks we need to live up to the example of heroism and the sense of patriotic sacrifice bequeathed to us by our mothers and fathers.

When we have done this we, as opposed to our parents, will have earned the right to throw history in the face of our European tormentors.

In the meantime we should of course be shouting to the heavens and anyone else that will listen that the German state owes us massive reparations for its criminal occupation during the 2nd world war and cannot any longer continue to ignore it's liability while lecturing to us on economic responsibility.

Stavros

Greeks have forgotten who they are. We have let others define us. We should not rest on our laurels however we must not relegate our history to the dustbin. To do so will be the first step in our extinction. These posts are not intended to glorify war or contribute to a mindless nationalism. Those of us who have seen war up close would never seek to glorify it. It brings out the worst in people however it also brings out out the best. One cannot read our history without admiring our people's courage, love of freedom and perseverance in the face of overwhelming odds.

May we live up to their example.

Telemachus

I do not read your posts as a glorification of war. The Cretan villagers that defended their homes and protected the handful of SOE officers left behind when the "great" British forces fled in panic from Crete were not motivated by a mindless love of war; they were motivated by a love of their country and a desire to see it free of foreign enslavement.

They were moral and spiritual giants who painfully remind us of our our own liliputan shortcomings in comparison. I shudder to think how the current generation of Greeks would respond to the trials and adversities that were encountered by the war generation.

These posts remind us that education, money and worldly sophistication are not prerequisite to a high level of citizenship and patriotism. What is more important is paidea and a love of God which our mothers and fathers had in abundance.

Marios Charalambou

Ela Stavro, yet another informative, topical and poignat post from the master. Thank you,for reminding us all, that when it comes right down to it we Greeks are not found wanting, we always stood our ground, either alone or shoulder to shoulder in support of others when they needed our help even though they did not always return the gesture, if the poitics of the day did no suit, its in our blood, its a Greek thing difficult for xenous to understand, the Cretans resistance to the occupying Nazis was the stuff of legend despite the appalling atrocities,they stood their ground, true to the spirit of our ancestors, our history s littered with examples such as this, from the Spartans at Thermopylae, to the countless deeds of heroism and self sacrifice during the 1821 War of Independance to the modrn era and beyond, always there ready to do the right thing, I just hope that the youth of today will prove themslves worthy if and when they are put to the test

Stavros

For what it is worth, I was stationed in Greece for two years between 1985-1987. I was a US Marine and because I spoke fluent Greek, I was assigned to work closely with the Greek Special Forces, both Army and Navy. During that time I was fortunate enough to have attended the Greek Parachute School at Aspropirgos and made over 20 jumps during my tour in Greece.

The Greek soldiers I got to know were patriotic and professional, highly motivated, both citizen soldiers and career professionals alike who made me proud of my Greek roots. One of them, Sgt John Parastratidis, was killed tragically on my first jump. He had been raised in Germany as I remember and had returned to Greece to fulfill his military obligation in the country of his birth. He was to have been discharged from the service in two weeks.

I would say there are even now, many young men and women like him who love their country deeply even when it lets them down as it invariably does. And I don't doubt that when their turn comes they will prove themselves worthy.

Joseph

Thank you, Stavros. The spirit of freedom or death and justice is indeed remarkable. The stories of the Cretan resistance are ones to be proud of and yet, it is always interesting and worth to hear again and to learn more about it.

Stavros

Hello Joseph,

Hoping you and your family are safe during these difficult times. May God hold you in his embrace.

Joseph

Thanks for caring, Stavros. Thank God all is well here now and I hope things will stay this way for long.

Joseph

My father just sent me this link and suggested that I would send it to my American Greek friends in the US, so I did… :-)
I regard these brave young men of the Hellenic Air force to be the natural successors of the brave Greeks who fought the invaders and resisted the occupation in WW2.
I hope that you Stavros will find this interesting, being a veteran of the US Navy:
http://youtu.be/KqeXVOWIKhY

Stavros

Joseph, although the U.S. Marine Corps, in which I served in for 22 years, is technically part of the Department of the Navy, I would be very careful telling any Marine that they were in the Navy. :)

The Hellenic Air Force is top notch in my book and they get plenty of practice chasing away the Turkish Air Force which has nothing better to do than violate Greek airspace. So much for being good neighbors.

Sefi

Ouch, the last thing I wanted was to offend a Marine...:-)
Yeah, seems like the Turkish airforce tends to keep the guys busy every now and again.

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