In a post on social media (facebook and twitter), the President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou made reference to the anniversary of the heroic Exodus of Missolonghi, emphasising the insurmountable sacrifice and the constant lesson of patriotism that the heroic act conveyed. As the President points out, the bravery of our “free besieged” fills us with pride and is a constant compass of national self-consciousness.
“The heroic resistance of the defenders of Missolonghi and their admirable brave exodus are the culmination of the struggle for Freedom and are among the most important events in world history.
The Exodus of Missolonghi is one of the greatest legacies of the Greek people. The self-denial, heroism and sacrifice of Misolonghi shocked Greece, the international community and the then governments of the European states. In Missolonghi, Greek history meets with its greatest moments ever. It draws on deposits from the past to build the collective future.
The commitment to freedom, self-determination, democracy, dignity and justice was for the “free besieged” not only faith but also a way of life. And it is precisely this legacy that we have a historic duty to meet.”
The Exodus of Missolonghi is one of the most important historical events of the Greek War of Independence. It took place in April 1826. The uprising against the Ottoman Turks had started a few years ago and the Greeks were trying to claim their liberty. The residents of Missolonghi, along with other Greek cities, had also rebelled, killed their Turkish governors and set their city free. Trying to gain the city back, the Sultan sent an army to suppress the revolution.
After two failed attempts by the Turks to reclaim the city, as the residents of Missolonghi, from inside the walls, fought bravely and managed to defend their besieged city, the third attack came.
In this third wave, the Turks had circled the area blocking off any food supplies form coming into the city. The besieged Greeks started starving to death and dying from diseases.
In the end, the exhausted residents of Missolonghi decided to secretly exit their city on the night of April, 10th, 1826, cross the Turkish camp and hide in the mountains and the close by villages. However, their plan was betrayed to the enemy and when the Greeks opened the gates in the middle of the night, the Turks attacked them and killed all women and children and most of the soldiers. Only 1,300 men finally managed to escape.