The 28th of October is another special day full of pride for Greeks all
over the world.
A Little HistoryIn the fall of 1940 in Rome the Italian dictator, Benito Mussolini, was upset and frustrated. The reason was his accomplishments in the war (WWII) were not as big as Adolph Hitler's. He decided to show to Hitler that Italy was as good as Germany, by invading Greece. Greece had a population back then of about 7 million people. Italy's population was 44 million!
In Greece, King George II had made right-wing general Ioannis Metaxas Prime Minister.
Mussolini decided that the Italians would invade Greece from Albania. An ultimatum was delivered to Ioannis Metaxas. Ioannis Metaxas read the demands on the morning of October 28th, 1940. He rejected the ultimatum and replied with the word "ΟΧΙ" which means "NO".
The Italians invaded Greece and met with the Greek army in Epirus the northern part of Greece. In four weeks the Greek army pushed the Italian army back to Albania. They freed the southern part of Albania that is better known as Northern Epirus.
Hitler was forced to send troops to Greece. This may have been the reason that Germany delayed their invasion of the Former Soviet Union.
The Celebration of the 28th of OctoberThe 28th of October became a national holiday. Schools are closed for the day and very few businesses are open. The small towns and villages have a parade with the school children dressed in blue and white, the colors of the Greek flag.
In the bigger cities the parade of the school children is followed by the parade of the Greek Armed Forces. Government and local officials are there to watch these events with pride.
The celebration does not stop within the country limits of Greece. Greek churches and organizations abroad also hold parades and festivities on this day. They remember the day that Greece said NO to fascism. They remember democracy, and proud of their inheritance, are transferring this message to the rest of the world.
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