To the Editor:
In 1939, the people of Northern Epirus faced another oppressive force, the Italians. The Italians used harsh measures because they were afraid of the Epirotes, lest they become an obstacle to their military preparations against Greece. With various excuses, they forced many Greeks to leave their country. Others were locked up in camps in Albania or Italy.
Then we get to October 1940, when the entire homeland fought hard for its honor and freedom in the mountains of Northern Epirus.
In that triumphant Greco-Italian War, the heroic children of Northern Epirus united with the Greek Army and together, they fought victorious battles, valiantly beating the well-armed Italian army.
The Northern Epirotes did not take long in their cities and villages to celebrate, now that the Greek victories gave them their freedom for the third time in history. Moschopoli, Premeti, Koritsa, Delvino, Agioi Saranda, Argyrokastro, Heimarra, all Greek centers, well-known to us in Epirus from ancient times, each in turn offered its own youth and sacrifices – and breathed the free Greek air again.
Before this Greek miracle of 1940, the whole world, friends and enemies, stand again with respect and awe, admiring the Greeks’ greatness, their bravery – because they fought for the holy and faithful of their tribe.
Today, Northern Epirotes kneel before the immortal heroes, who shed their blood in Northern Epirus’ mountains, to keep the torch of freedom unextinguished.
This historic anniversary reminds Northern Epirus of the liberation of their homeland, albeit temporarily, and the hopes that were revived at the time for its definitive integration with the rest of free Epirus and mother Greece.
Thank you very much.