The members of the delegation of the Committee "Greece 2021" who visited the historic island of Argosaronikos, had the opportunity to “talk” with some of the most important and glorious moments of the Greek Revolution, as those moments were preserved in the Town Hall and the Metropolis of Hydra, the Historical House of Lazaros Kountouriotis and the unique Historical Archives – Museum of Hydra, where the embalmed heart of the great hero of 1821 Andreas Miaoulis is kept. The delegation consisted of: The President of the Committee "Greece 2021" Gianna Aggelopoulou-Daskalaki and the Members of the Assembly, Professors Panagiotis Roilos, Nikos Kanellopoulos and Napoleon Maraveyas.
"Today, we sensed the values of the Greek Revolution. Love for freedom, heroism, sacrifice, solidarity. We stand in front of the embalmed heart of Andreas Miaoulis. One of the heroes who sacrificed everything for the Greek Revolution, so that we can be free today. We saw the images of the past coming alive before us. We saw the values of the past coming alive", said the President of the Committee, being very emotional, at the Historical Archives – Hydra Museum, a true "gemstone" in theisland’s culture, which connects the historical past with the experience of virtual and interactive navigation in its halls. The Committee delegation was guided through the Museum, where rare material of great historical value is exhibited. This material includes the Great Charter of Rigas Feraios, the silver urn containing the embalmed heart of Admiral Miaoulis, the sword of King Otto and the will of Pavlos Kountouriotis, the legendary admiral of the fleet and commander of battleship "Averof" who served twice as The President of the Hellenic Republic. The will ends with the following phrase: "All my affection belongs to Hydra, and my soul wishes that God guards Greece fiercely."
"It is a huge honor, and we are emotional becausewe are standing here, next to the embalmed heart of Miaoulis, which is not only the heart of Hydra but the heart of islandic Greece and Greece in its entirety. It is a heart that represents the past, but points towards the future, which, as we have said, is the main priority of the Committee 2021," said Assembly Member Panagiotis Roilos.
Hydra of the Revolution
The Mayor of Hydra Giorgos Koukoudakis welcomed the Committee delegation in the Town Hall, which neighbors the Metropolis of Hydra. "If Hydra does not stop the fight, the Revolution in Greece will not stop." With these words, which are documented in the archives of the Ottoman Empire, which the Mayor managed to acquire, and during the meeting that followed, the President of the Committee described the unprecedented heroism shown by the people of Hydra in 1821.
For his part, Mr. Koukoudakis spoke about the history of Hydra and the decisive role it played in the Revolution, while he also mentioned the newspaper "The Friend of the Law" which was published in 1823 in order to promote updates about the Revolution and contribute to the demand for the political recognition of the Greek State.
From the coalition of 1821 to the coalitionof the present
The Mayor of Hydra also mentioned an important initiative concerning a scheme for the twinning of Hydra with Spetses and Psara, on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution. "We will hold a twinning ceremony in July. If these three islands had not contributed with their fleets, we wouldn’t have succeeded. All three islands were needed to fight the Ottomans," he underlined.
"This is the kind of coalition we need today for the celebration of the bicentennial” pointed out the President of the Committee and added: "Through the sacrifices and the contributions of this place, these islands, Greece is what it is today. Cooperation, forming coalitions and alliances with other people who pursue the same goals, that is exactly what we need to donow. Today the coalition concerns a different revolution, one that will define our country in the next years.”
The great philhellenes
During the discussion, the Mayor revealed important but less-known details of the philhellenic movement. In particular, he mentioned two prominent American philhellenes who came to Hydra and fought for the Greek cause. Among them, American PresidentGeorge Washington's nephew, who is buried in Hydra, in the house of Lazaros Kountouriotis, and George Jarvis, who in April of 1821 enlisted as a volunteer crew member on a Hydrean ship and fought in 13 battles. "The Greek revolution mobilized and awakened other countries during that time. First of all, we are talking about England, France and Russia, the three great powers who helped. The philhellenes set off from America and came to Greece. The values that the Greeks held at the time, we must preserve and benefit from them" emphasized the President of the Committee, asking the Mayor to take on the role of a teacher for the new generations and talk to them about these outstanding moments in the island's history.
A landfilled with history
Father Akindynos guided the Committee delegation through the Metropolis building next to the Town Hall. Afterward, they went to the Historic House of Lazaros Kountouriotis, a strong reference point for the island. Lazaros Kountouriotis relinquished a considerable part of his fortune for the Revolution, while important deliberations on issues of the Revolution of 1821 were held at his mansion and influential dignitaries both Greek and foreign visited as guests.
"Hydra is a magical place. I suggest a proposal for creating a travelogue presenting the place through the use of augmented reality technology. This work will communicate the landmarks and environment of the island on the internet worldwide and contribute to developing tourism further," pointed out the Member of the Assembly Mr. Kanellopoulos. "What impresses us is the selflessness shown by the people of Hydra who fought with their fleet. The desire for freedom motivated them to offer everything they had. They began the fight being rich, and at the end of the Revolution they had become poor," underlined the Member of the Assembly, Mr. Maraveyas. "We commit, if we can, to help in the preservation of these historic buildings, the landmarks, which will help Hydra continue on its shining path," said the Committee President.