Jacksonville, FL (March 22, 2022) – This evening, City Council passed Resolution 2022-175, introduced by Council Member Danny Becton, acknowledging March 25 as Greek Independence Day. The Resolution formally recognizes this historic day when Greece declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire and celebrates the values of the Hellenic Republic’s courage, decency, and honor that defines the Greek community and their unwillingness to bend in the face of injustice. Today, Greece is also not only a critical NATO ally in the Eastern Mediterranean, Black Sea, and Western Balkans regions, but also a strong friend of the United States.
After being a territory of the Ottoman Empire for over 400 years, Greece began its efforts to become a free and independent country in 1814 through the efforts of a secret organization called Kiliki Eteria (Society of Friends). On March 25, 1821, 201 years ago, Greece formally began the fight for independence when Bishop Germanos of Patras raised the flag of revolution over the Monastery of Agia Lavra in the Peloponnese and the cry “Freedom or Death” became their rallying cry. While the Greeks had early success on the battlefield, by 1827 Athens and most of the Greek isles had been recaptured by the Ottoman Empire. When defeat appeared imminent, Great Brittan, France, and Russia intervened on behalf of the Greeks and with their combined forces were able to mount a counter-offensive. The critical turning point came at the Battle of Navarino, where the joint British, French, and Russian navies destroyed the Ottoman-Egyptian fleet. Two years later, in 1829, the Treaty of Edirne was signed and formally established Greece as an independent country.
The resolution acknowledges the day celebrated annually by Greeks since the end of the Greek Revolution and is also known as the Celebration of the Greek Revolution and honors the Greeks’ fight for freedom, in conjunction with the commemoration of the Feast of the Annunciation by the Greek Orthodox Church. In Greece and Cypress, it is very common to see local school parades where school children march in traditional Greek folk costumes and carry Greek flags. The largest celebration occurs in Athens and is commemorated through an annual military parade along with the President of Greece, high-ranking state officials, and hundreds of civilian spectators.
CM Becton had this to say upon the passage of the resolution:
“It is always an honor to commemorate a special occasion like the Independence Day of our Greek friends and neighbors”, Council Member Becton stated. “This day of March 25 now will be acknowledged by the City of Jacksonville for its importance and remembrance from this day forward.”
For more information on Greek Independence Day, please visit: