Παρασκευή, 3 Σεπτεμβρίου 2010
Admiral James Stavridis and the batle of Salamis
The change of command, presided over by NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, marks the first time in NATO history that a navy admiral assumes the post since the position was established in 1951 when General Dwight D. Eisenhower became the first SACEUR. Admiral Stavridis is the sixteenth American officer and the first Greek-American to hold the prestigious post.
His grandfather was an ethnic Greek, who immigrated to the United States in 1910. Admiral Stavridis was born in 1955 in West Palm Beach, Fla., to a military family, and he lived in Greece as a young child while his father, an officer in the Marines, was assigned to the United States Embassy in Athens.
Admiral James Stavridis - first navy admiral and first Greek-American to become NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) ''Tomorrow you must row for your parents. Tomorrow you must row for your city. "And tomorrow," he said, "you must row for freedom."
Admiral Stavridis always remained proud for his Greek heritage. Upon receiving AHEPA Medal of Freedom in 2006 in his follow-up letter he wrote: "Thank you for your part in my award of the AHEPA Medal of Freedom…It meant the world to me and my family to be so honored, and made me feel very proud to be a Greek-American.” In his article in New York Post "Row for Freedom: An Ancient lesson and America's heroes today" he commented on his Greek roots and the lessons from Ancient Greece:
"And we think here in the United States that we invented that idea, but actually it goes back to the very roots of democracy. And I'm Greek-American, so I'm allowed to tell this story of how volunteer militaries began.
If you go back 2,500 years, the first democracy in history, Athens, was faced with an invasion by the Persian Empire. The Persians outnumbered the Greeks five to one and they were invading Greece from the sea. They had an advantage, five to one, in the ships, in the soldiers, in the sailors that they brought.
But the difference was the Persian forces were all conscripts and slaves. The Athenians, to a man, were volunteers; they were the first volunteer force fighting for a democracy. Before the Great Battle of Salamis, Themistocles, the Greek admiral, called his volunteers together - the men who would the next day literally row the galleys - the ships, the trireme galleys of war. And he said to them, "tomorrow you must row for your children. Tomorrow you must row for your parents. Tomorrow you must row for your city. "And tomorrow," he said, "you must row for freedom."