With the admirable brilliance and modesty, the first official celebration of Cypriot Armed Forces Day took place on Saturday, September 8th, 2018, at the God’s Sophia church in Strovolos.
In the official praise that was held, Archbishop of the New Justinian and all of Cyprus, Chrysostomos II was the leader.
It is recalled that the Holy Synod of the Church of Cyprus has, in its recent decision, defined Virgin Mary as the Patron of all the Armed Forces of Cyprus, which will be honored on 8th of September, the day when the Church celebrates Her birthday.
The ceremony was also attended by the Minister of Defense Mr. Savvas AGGELIDIS, representatives of the Political and State Authorities of the site, the Ambassador of Greece, Mr. Ilias FOTOPOULOS, the entire Hierarchy of the NG, the Commander of Greek Forces in Cyprus, representatives of associations and other entities as well as delegations of military personnel.
The Minister of Defense, on the occasion of the day, congratulated and expressed his thanks of the State to the entire staff of the NG for the diligence, professionalism and sense of responsibility they demonstrate in fulfilling their mission. At the same time, he underlined the fact that the strengthening of the country's Armed Forces is on top priority in order to make them both the main deterrent to any advocacy and also enable it as a factor of security and stability in the region.
In the frame of the celebration, the commemorative speech was read by Mr. Petros PAPAPOLYVIOU, Associate Professor of the University of Cyprus. In his speech he stressed the importance of celebrating national anniversaries not by an epidermal and mechanical way but through a holistic approach and due to a preservation of the national symbolisms and their overall impact on the formation of the common identity. Referring to the dual natured concept of the celebration, he focused on the long-standing historical tradition of modern Hellenism, that of the Intercession of the Holy Mother of God with crucial moments of the national life of the country. Continuing, he mentioned that this celebration provides the prospect of re-evaluating the past so that we can learn from it and prepare ourselves for the future. In the context of the speech, he made a historical retrospection of the struggles, sacrifices and war "adventures" of Hellenism in defense of the highest ideals of mankind, those of freedom and self-determination, values which led to the institution of the Republic of Cyprus. It summed up the meaning of celebrating the Armed Forces day of Cyprus to pay tribute to all those who fought in all the wartime history of the country, that is to say, both in the ancestral ones as well as during the struggles for defending the Republic of Cyprus. In closing, he confirmed the pride that overwhelmed the Cypriot people for the NG and, consequently, embracement of the establishment of this new celebration, the Armed Forces Day of the country.
At the end of the ceremony, attendees had the opportunity to attend, in an adjacent area, an exhibition of photography with rare photographical material of the history of the National Guard since its establishment until today as well as audiovisual material with its modern actions.