Athens, 17 December 2020

H.E. the President of the Hellenic Republic Ms. Katerina Sakellaropoulou had a teleconference with the President of the International Honorary Committee of the Anniversary Year “Thermopylae – Salamis 2020” and President of “ELPIDA – Association of Friends of Children with Cancer” Mrs. Marianna V. Vardinoyannis, on Thursday, December 17th 2020.

 On the occasion of the completion of the Anniversary Year “Thermopylae-Salamis 2020”, Mrs. Vardinoyannis informed in detail H.E. the President of the Hellenic Republic about the proceedings of the International Honorary Committee, thanked her for placing the Anniversary Year under her patronage and “handed over” the first copy of the Tribute Volume with the activities held throughout the Anniversary Year.

Mrs. Vardinoyannis quoted: “Despite the difficult conditions of the pandemic that overturned our original plans, we believe that, with modesty and respect, we managed to pay tribute to the heroes of these battles and to highlight the spirit of the Anniversary, through multidimensional initiatives, humanitarian, educational, scientific, cultural and sports. And we owe this, first of all, to you and your invaluable support and encouragement. You symbolize the timeless gratitude and pride of Greeks, for our ancestors, our history, our cultural heritage, but also our role in the world.

 I really hope that this journey that began 2.500 years ago, will continue in today’s world, enriched by the visions of a culture of values and a society that, through the tragedy of the pandemic we are experiencing, wants to come out better, more humane, more united and stronger“.

The President of the Hellenic Republic pointed out that what happened 2.500 years ago in Thermopylae and in Salamis describes, as has been extremely imprinted by Aeschylus and other writers, the clash of light and darkness. Despite their differences, the Greeks united faced and finally defeated an overwhelmingly superior enemy. Also, that the Greeks fought not only for their homeland but also for a way of life, contrary to the arrogance and arbitrariness of the Persian regime. And that, as it is accepted, at the end of the Persian Wars and the victory of the Greeks, the beginning of Europe is traced.

Mrs. Vardinoyannis also thanked H.E. the President of the Hellenic Republic for her participation in the International Virtual Round Table organized by the Association “ELPIDA – Association of Friends of Children with Cancer” on “Covid-19 and childhood cancer” and informed her about the new initiative of “ELPIDA” entitled “Health Diplomacy by ELPIDA” Program, aiming at international collaborations for the protection of health.

Mrs Vardinoyannis said: “The pandemic crisis has shown in the most urgent way that global crises can only be tackled with global cooperation. No country, no government, no human can face it alone. We are all together in this and only if we join forces will we be able to stand up. With the aim of creating international partnerships to ensure the universal good of health, we begin this new endeavor, the “Health Diplomacy Program by ELPIDA”, and I hope to have you by our side. I would like to thank you once again for your love and sensitivity for our children“.

Ms. Sakellaropoulou thanked her for her initiatives and reiterated her desire to visit the Pediatric Oncology Unit “Marianna V. Vardinoyannis –ELPIDA” as soon as conditions allow.