This past week Crete’s Governor Stavros Arnaoutakis was at the Arkadi Monastery to honor the memory of Cretan heroes. The governor took part in ceremonies dedicated to the martyrs who gave up their lives during the time of the Cretan resistance of Ottoman rule.
On the occasion of the 153-year anniversary of a monumental three-day battle in 1966, the governor, clergy, educators, and other officials gathered to pay tribute. During the Crete revolt of 1966, 943 Greeks, mostly women, and children stood in front of an Ottoman army of attackers. When the ramparts of the Arkadi Monastery finally gave way, the abbot of the monastery and all the survivors of the battle, blew themselves up with barrels of gunpowder rather than have the defenseless submit to torture or worse. Governor Arnaoutakis said this at the solemn ceremony:
“We have gathered here in respect, to participate and pay tribute to the Heroes of Arcadia. Today, 153 years ago, a message of the timeless fight for freedom, communion, principles, values, unity, and solidarity was shouted. It’s an ideal for which we have to fight even harder.”
The governor went on to describe those acts of supreme heroism and self-sacrifice, and a now-famous movement that represented the will of an entire people. He iterated how this movement was not ordained leadership, but imposed by the heart of the revolutionary Cretans.
Also on hand at the ceremonies were Minister Ioannis Kefalogiannis, MP Andreas Xanthos, the IP Antiperifereiarchis Rethymnon Mary Liani, the Deputy Head Manolis footsteps, the Mayors Rethymnon George Marinakis, Mylopotamou Dimitris Kokkinos Anogion Socrates Kefalogiannis, the Regional Advisors Giannis Parasiris, Costas Dandoulakis, Nikos Manousakis, Rectors-Educational, Military Authorities, Security Bodies, Representatives of Agencies and a large crowd at the monastery.