ATHENS – "In a period of a dual crisis, with the challenges and aggressive behavior of our neighbours peaking and the pandemic threatening public health and our economy, the people of Thrace have once again proven their sense of responsibility and fighting spirit. Together with our Armed Forces, calmly and with a high-minded spirit of patriotism, they protect the Greek borders, the borders of Europe," President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou said on Thursday in her message marking 100 years since the liberation of Thrace.
She pointed out that this year's 100th anniversary since Thrace was formally incorporated in the modern Greek nation finds Alexandroupolis, despite the current difficult conditions, on a creative and regenerative path.
After emphasising that Thrace is an integral part of Greek history, she noted that on Thursday it celebrates a century since its liberation and integration into the modern Greek state and added: "May 14 is a landmark day for both Alexandroupolis and Komotini as, after many adventures and struggles, these two cities gained their freedom."
She recalled that "antiquity, the Roman era, Byzantium, Ottoman rule, all left their mark on Thrace, this long-suffering place that, due to its geographical location, was a crossroads of conflicts and a melting pot of peoples and cultures, an area of open horizons. It was not easy to harmonise and creatively bring together so many ethnicities in the region. Periods of flourishing were followed by periods of disaster and persecution."
"However, the centuries-old multicultural character of the region has broadened the mental horizon of the Thracians, strengthened their dynamism, creativity and business spirit," she added.
The Greek President stressed that Greece today celebrated Alexandroupolis, honouring its history and welcoming its prospects. "One of the newest cities in our country, it does not only boast of a high quality of life, respect for the environment and interesting artistic and intellectual activity. Due to its geographical location, it has the potential to become a hub for growth throughout the region, becoming the main gateway between the European Union, the Mediterranean, Asia and the Black Sea," she said.