On November 24th, 2017, NATO Rapid Deployable Corps - Greece (NRDC-GR) celebrated the National Day of Albania, with a flag raising ceremony which took place in the Headquarters premises, at “Pedion Areos” Camp in Thessaloniki. The event honored with their presence the Commander of NRDC-GR, Lieutenant General Dimitrios Bikos, the Albanian General Consul of Thessaloniki, distinguished guests and the staff of the HQ.
Lieutenant Colonel Adrian BEQAJ, the Senior National Representative (SNR) of Albania, addressed the HQ on the meaning of the day. During his speech, he mentioned “On 28 of November we commemorate the Albanian declaration of national independence. It came 105 years ago and it is the most important act in our history. The Albanian independence was proclaimed introducing the two-head black eagle in a red background as our flag, making this symbol the most significant expression of the identity for Albanians whenever they live. It comes from the depth of history as when all Albanians under the lead of George Castroite Scanderbeg unanimously accepted the two-head eagle as the flag of united Albanians”.
Furthermore he added “It is worth mentioning other important dates we celebrate which are the 29th of November, the day of Liberation and the victory in World War II and the 4th December the creation of the Albanian Armed Forces. Albania is now a contributing member of NATO and is close to meet its second strategic objective, to become part of united Europe. We believe that is an inherent right not only due to our geographical location but also due to our cultural heritage and historic ties with our neighbors. The Albanian people and the entire political leadership are committed and determined to contribute to this goal”.
Concluding his speech the SNR expressed the deepest respect to the participating nations, and his gratitude to the host nation, Greece, for the hospitality, the warm friendly environment and the support provided. Commander of NRDC-GR, Lieutenant General Dimitrios Bikos, congratulated the SNR for this day and expressed his appreciation for the significant contribution of the Albanian staff to the past years HQ’s successes. The event concluded with a small ceremony in the HQ facilities.