I am old enough to remember America’s Bicentennial in 1976, and the sweeping pride we all felt, as well as, for my parents’ generation, a fair amount of soul searching. The Vietnam War just ended, and the euphoria of the post-World War Two era and expansion gave way to some doubt. Finding pride in your nation’s birthday and asking, perhaps for the first time, questions about our nation were long overdue.
In less than two years, our other country (or mother country, country of ancestry, choose your term—as a Greek citizen (I refer to it as my other country) will celebrate her Bicentennial. Like the US date of independence, March 25, 1821, was not the date of a recognized Greek state taking its place in the concert of nations. There was a long eight-year war to decide that (just like the US was not officially an independent country until the Treaty of Paris in 1783). But we Greeks, like we Americans, we decide when we were independent!
Both Revolutions rocked the world, both were anything but spontaneous, both involved a fair amount of division and atrocity—civil war in fact—to produce two highly strung and talented nations. Given the distance between us and the events leading up to, during, and after the Greek War of Independence, it is good for us to “walk through” some of these key events, discuss them, debate them, and be aware of them.
The first thing to remember about the Greek Revolution is that the Diaspora—folks like you and me—played a vital role in its inception, victory, and the way Greece created her identity and image. We were and are a part of this discussion. So, be part of it.
Till next time.