CYPRUS celebrated ‘Ochi Day’ yesterday in commemoration of the 1940 resistance of the Greeks against the Axis forces, which signalled Greece’s direct involvement in the Second World War.
Celebrated in Greece as well as communities in the world with a connection to Greece, the celebration hinges on the ‘OCHI’ (no) response that Greek dictator Ioannis Metaxas is said to have given to Italian dictator Benito Mussolini on October 28.
A parade took place in Nicosia at 11am with school students marching to drumbeats, bearing the flags of Greece and Cyprus. Politicians and state officials issued statements hailing the heroism displayed by many.
“I believe that today, Greeks everywhere have the right to feel proud,” President Nicos Anastasiades said.
He added that through the correct use of strategy and rationality Cypriot people can be liberated, living in peace and prosperity.
House President Yiannakis Omirou spoke to reporters following the remembrance service at the Ayios Ioannis Cathedral in Nicosia.
“Today, our soul is reviving the glorious anniversary of October 28, 1940 and we must learn the messages and apply its lessons,” he said.
“The light of this day marks the path towards salvation, and the message is clear and indisputable: neither military superiority nor the economic crisis can not and should not lead us to a humiliating surrender,” he added.
Communications Minister Tasos Mitsopoulos said that with faith in God and strength in unity and collective work, Cyprus will be able to deal with any problem like the Greeks did in 1940.
“We will be able to defeat those harmful elements of our national DNA, the nepotism, corruption, impunity and open a new path of creativity that will lead us to tomorrow,” he said.