• The Committee "Greece 2021" visited the heroic island of Kasos, which contributed with its fleet to the struggle of the Revolution
• Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki: Kasos is a symbol of struggle, sacrifice and rebirth
• Productive discussion with representatives of the local community on the past and future of the island, considering the proposals for the bicentennial
A delegation of the Committee "Greece 2021" visited heroic Kasos, the island of seamanship, the great symbol of struggle, sacrifice, and its people's rebirth from its ashes. A great maritime power, the "Lady-captain of the Dodecanese", as they often call the island, in 1821 offered nearly all its ships to the revolutionary fleet. The people of Kasos bravely joined the struggle and participated in risky naval operations. But history had enormous distress in store for them.
"Kasos is a symbol of struggle, sacrifice, and rebirth. It was here, in 1824, that the Kasian people fought all alone a devastating battle against the Egyptian and Ottoman fleets. They resisted bravely. And if it wasn't for the betrayal, as it is said, maybe the island wouldn't have fallen. More than 2000 Kasian people were killed, while 2000 civilians that survived the massacre were sold as slaves," said Committee President Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, adding: "And yet the place has been reborn, it has moved forward and today the island is progressing, developing and looking at the future with optimism."
The Members of the Committee's Assembly, Professors Despoina Mouzaki, Panagiotis Roilos, Paschalis Kitromilidis, and Nikos Kanellopoulos, also participated in the delegation.
The contribution of Kasos "to the treasury of Greek Freedom"
The Committee delegation visited the Heroes Monument and met with the Mayor of The Heroic Island of Kasos Michalis Erotokritos at the City Hall. Later, they visited the Municipal Library, where they had a long discussion with representatives of the Municipal Authority and the local community about the past and the future of the island, based primarily on the proposals that the Municipality has submitted to the Committee's platform for the bicentennial.
"Kasos and its people spearheaded, not by chance, in the struggle for our National Rebirth and this wholehearted commitment to the cause was severely punished with the tragic holocaust of their island," underlined the Mayor in his speech and mentioned the island's contribution to "the treasury of Greek freedom." He also referred to the proposals submitted by the island, which concern an exhibition, a conference, and a publication on the significant maritime history of the island, its participation in the Revolution and the tragedy of 1824, as well as, the emergence of Kasos as a meeting location for places that have suffered holocausts, on the occasion of the established commemoration of the event on the island. He also commented on the proposal submitted to the State by the Municipality of the Heroic Island of Kasos, establishing a professional school of traditional boatbuilders, befitting to the long maritime history of the island.
"In 2021, we will stand with the people of Kasos, to celebrate our landmark national anniversary in the manner it deserves. As we move into the third century of our modern history, we will prove that we can progress when united. We will send the message of modern patriotism from every corner of the country, from every part of Greece. The message of a proud country which will continue to write great history," said the President of the Committee.
From the past to the future
The Members of the Committee's Assembly, who participated in the delegation on the frontier island, made particularly meaningful observations. "It is vital to have an awareness and a sense of our country's historical heroism. But in such iconic places, it is also important to remember that this heroism endures to this day. The inhabitants of frontier areas such as Kasos are true descendants of the heroes of the past," said Panagiotis Roilos. He stressed the symbolic importance of Kasos in modern Greek literature and culture.
"Kasos, like Psara and Messolonghi, are places of historical memory. They are places that remind us of the events that granted us freedom and readied us to enter the third century of Greek freedom. We come here today as pilgrims. And we are pleased to see the prospect of this island", said Paschalis Kitromilidis.
Both Nikos Kanellopoulos and Despoina Mouzaki discussed the proposals submitted by the Municipality. "Window into the future means sustainable actions that will bring revenues to the island, through tourism and involving the Greeks of the diaspora," said Mr. Kanellopoulos. "Kasos is a vibrant place. We read your proposals with great interest, and we will gladly support your planning of the future,” Despoina Mouzaki emphasized.
Visit to the Traditional Kasiotiko house
While on the island, the Committee delegation also visited the Archaeological Museum and the church of Agios Spyridonas and toured the Traditional Kasiotiko house. This house is located in Fri, the capital of Kasos, and belongs to Ioulia Daskalaki, a descendant of a Kasian family, with a significant contribution to the island. It is essentially the recreation of a typical Kasiotiko house, with all the traditional furniture, decorative objects, and household items.
"During the Committee's visits throughout Greece, we witness the emergence of extraordinary efforts, such as the one we encountered here today. Efforts made by people who love their homeland and its past and want passionately to keep this past alive in the future. It is the Committee's goal to highlight throughout Greece the circumstances that have permitted us to be where we are today," said the President of the Committee, addressing the "soul" of the Kasiotiko house, Ioulia Daskalaki.