Greece had been part of the Ottoman Empire since 1453. The Greek revolt was triggered on March 25, 1821, when Bishop Germanos of Patras raised the flag of the revolution over the Monastery of Agia Lavra in the Peloponnese . The cry “Freedom or Death” became the mantra of the revolution. The Greeks experienced early successes on the battlefield, including the capture of Athens in June 1822, but infighting ensued and by 1827 Athens and most of the Greek islands had been recaptured by the Turks.
Just as the revolution appeared to be on the verge of failure, Great Britain, France, and Russia intervened in the conflict. The Greek struggle had provoked strong sympathy in Europe, and many leading scholars had promoted the Greek cause, including the English poet Lord Byron. At the naval Battle of Navarino, the combined British, French, and Russian forces destroyed an Ottoman-Egyptian fleet. The revolution ended in 1829 when the Treaty of Edirne established an independent Greek state.
This year will be the second time that Greece has commemorated Independence Day in lockdown. However, even though things will again be different, this special day will be marked with huge celebrations and it will certainly a day to remember.
Many countries across the globe will also be honouring the Bicentennial with world monuments such as the Sydney Opera House and the Eiffel Tower, illuminated in the Greek flag, in a show of solidarity. Foreign world dignitaries have already arrived in Athens including Charles, the Prince of Wales, and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, who arrived in Athens on Wednesday, in advance of the spectacular military parade which will take place in front of the Greek Parliament and the Monument to the Unknown Soldier at Syntagma Square on Thursday morning.