The recent financial woes in Greece got me thinking about photographs in my collection that were taken during a visit in 2006. Any visit to Greece can elicit superlatives of this fascinating country. It seems though, that Greece has a long history of troubles. Within my adult lifetime I have been prevented from travelling there in the early 1970s because of riots and the deposing of the monarchy. In 1985 my family was caught in a major student demonstration at the anniversary of student deaths at the hand of the military,and later in the same day witnessed the edge of a demonstration in Constitution Square, Athens. Even during our last visit to Athens in 2006 we observed a detachment of riot police assembled at a street corner readying themselves for a teachers’ protest.
Meanwhile, life continues as “normal” away from the trouble. Citizens go to the markets to buy their produce;
tourists visit the major attractions;
and the National Guard “change the guard” at Constitution Square.
Perhaps this ancient civilization never did get everything right, but what it did do well formed a major pillar in the building of western civilization as we know it today. Maybe the quotation on this tee-shirt seen in an Athens market has more than just a wee bit of truth about it.