Page 1740 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 1 April 2009

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The mountains look on Marathon—

and Marathon looks on the sea;

And musing there an hour alone,

I dreamt that Greece might yet be free

For, standing on the Persians’ grave,

I could not deem myself a slave.

Must we but weep o’er days more blest?

Must we but blush?—Our fathers bled.

Earth! Render back from out thy breast

A remnant of our Spartan dead!

Of the three hundred grant but three,

To make a new Thermopylae.

Of course, from a long-term historical perspective, Greece’s independence predated that of our young country Australia, but it also predated the formation of many other of today’s prominent nations such as Italy and Germany. Over the course of a century, the newly established Greek state would come to include Macedonia, Crete, Epirus, the Ionian and the Aegean islands, and other Greek-speaking territories in today’s modern Greek state.

The Greek War of Independence marked the birth of modern Greece and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. For the first time, people had achieved independence from the Ottoman rule and established a fully independent state. Serbs, Bulgarians, Romanians and Arabs would all successfully fight for and achieve independence much later. And I guess all that helps to explain to us why the proud Greek community take every opportunity to commemorate the day and proclaim: long live the Greek revolution of 1821!

Aged veterans community

MS BURCH (Brindabella) (6.49): Today I had the pleasure to attend, together with Mr Coe, the annual veteran community aged care wreath-laying ceremony at the Australian War Memorial, organised through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to give aged veterans, war widows, widowers, and aged care residents who are otherwise unable to attend Anzac Day services the opportunity to commemorate this significant day.

Anzac Day is indeed an important day for us as Australians and for us as Canberrans, and the service today provided a wonderful opportunity for older Canberrans, those that are not able to take part in formal celebrations on Anzac Day, a chance to come together to share their stories, their friendships and support, but, more importantly, to remember and honour the men and women who selflessly served our community and our country.

Ms Katy Gallagher

Mr Andrew Barr

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (6.50): Mr Speaker, at the commencement of question time today the Treasurer came down and apologised and corrected the record of when

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