Marios-Michael Turoutsikas: “He died early, but full of Greece”: Panhellenic mourning

Hearts were broken on Thursday morning (2/2) in Tripoli at the final farewell to 29-year-old Lieutenant Mario-Michael Turutsika, who died when the Phantom F-4 he was flying crashed on Monday during a training flight in the maritime area south of Andravida airport.

Highlights of the drama in the capital of Arcadia were the funerals delivered by the father and mother of the co-pilot of the fatal Phantom, who said goodbye with heartfelt words that left no one unmoved by their child.

The President of the Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, the Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the President of SYRIZA, Alexis Tsipras, the Minister of National Defense, Nikos Panagiotopoulos, the leadership of the Armed Forces, the lieutenant’s colleagues, his relatives and friends. All visibly shocked and moved by the untimely loss of a worthy Air Force officer they wept during the shocking funeral of the mother of the deceased pilot.

They chanted “immortal” for the 29-year-old when his body arrived at the holy temple

The first to reach the holy temple were parents of the deceased flyer with his mother holding tightly in her arms the photograph of her child.

When, in fact, the body of Mario-Michael Turutsika arrived at the church with his classmates carrying the coffin on their shoulders, in front of which was the sword and the platoon of the sub-squadron, his father could not stand it and shouted “my child”, a which overshadowed even the mournful march of the military band.

A few hours later, the leader of GEETHA, Alexis Tsipras, Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Katerina Sakellaropoulou, who was holding a white rose in her hands, arrived at the holy temple.

The classmate’s farewell

Shortly before the end of the procession, he was the first to say the final cheer to the 29-year-old lieutenant commander, his fellow student from the years of Ikaron who had been Mario-Michael’s first choice after completing his student obligations.

“Late Marie-Michael, your fate prematurely cut the thread of life, leaving a void in your family and the Air Force. We mourn and mourn the lost leventia, the man, the son, the officer who left for the eternal journey” he continued while his words caused emotion in those present.

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“Forget it Marie-Michael, no pain can be compared to what your family, colleagues and friends are experiencing here. The news of the death was filled with sadness. You stood as a wonderful person and partner while at the same time you were a role model of a child” began the fellow student of the lieutenant colonel at his funeral. “Your family that supported you and was proud of you suddenly loses a child that stood out. On Monday you passed into eternity and history. You had our love and you will have it forever. The motherland ranks you among the heroes who sacrificed for its freedom. Your family and the officers of the Air Force will keep you in their memory” concluded the representative of the Air Force.

Mario’s father

Afterwards, Mario-Michael was greeted by his father, who throughout the previous period had spoken several times about his son and his career in the Air Force.

“How did a person selfish and callous many times and maybe not fair go and give birth to a child like Mario? As a pharmacist with little scientific background I believe it was a mistake from RNA to DNA and he improved it, no other explanation can I give” began the father of lieutenant commander.

“Marios as a young man had managed to achieve something very difficult that most of us cannot do, to annihilate his ego. He had erased it from his vocabulary. There was only you,” he continued in the few words he said he wrote Wednesday night.

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“He didn’t want to go on trips abroad, maybe not to leave his homeland. Only last year he asked us to go to the US for his brother. He did not compare Greece with any other country in the world. I hope the homeland remembers him somewhere. Maybe this way his soul rests better. And as he told me when I asked him about his salary, father, Greece does not owe me, I owe Greece. I believe his debt paid off. The consolation is that he died as he wished, early but full of Greece. Have a good trip my love” concluded the father of the deceased lieutenant colonel with his words moving her President of the Republic.

Mario’s mother

Even more touching were the words of the mother of the unfortunate lieutenant, who in her own pain found the strength to begin with her condolences to the family of squadron leader Stathis Tsitlakidis, the pilot of the Phantom-F4 in which her child was riding, “and especially to his mother who is going through the same drama as mine.”

After thanking “everyone who sympathizes with us in the tragic martyrdom”, he then said that “I will tell you two words about my son which I am not sure I had said to him in his life and who unfortunately left me so early”. .

“Mary, my sweet boy, star of my soul, always smiling, you never made me sad, calm and submissive, you never complained about anything. Calm, dignified, hardworking, giving to all. You were the son every mother would want in her arms. The friend everyone would like to have by their side. The best brother for your brothers. The best grandson for your brothers. The best partner for your girlfriend, our Zoe” he continued with a “broken” voice with words that moved all of Greece.

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“Since you were little, you dreamed of becoming a pilot, you loved speed, cars, engines, airplanes. You set high goals and you achieved them. You became the Icarus of our hearts, you became a hero that we will never forget. All Greece sees your face and shouts immortal. You and Stathis will never be forgotten. The whole of Greece will carry you in its soul” she said about her child mother of the 29-year-old.

“For me you were, are and will be my child. My Mariakos, my angel that I admired so much. And how proud you had made me, and how much you knew how much I will miss you. And finally I will dedicate two verses to Marios, to Stathis and the pilots who were lost and especially to the pilots who will continue to fly for the homeland: the eagle dies in the air, free and strong, of loneliness when the bullet finds it the sky embraces it . Bon voyage my sweet boy, bon heaven my star and as long as I breathe I will never forget you. My son was Lieutenant Marios-Michail, he died for his country. Immortal” concluded the 29-year-old’s mother amid sobs from those inside the church, with those present bursting into applause and some shouting “immortal”.

The exit and fainting

After the completion of the funeral in the holy church of Prophet Elias, the body of Mario-Michael Turutsika, covered in blue and white, was taken out of the church with the officers greeting him and the people who had been there to say “goodbye” erupting to applause and to shout “immortal” once more.

The last goodbye to Sergeant Major Turuchika

His mother could not stand it and fainted from the emotion of the moment, but thanks to the first aid given to her, she recovered and started the march to the village of Pickerni to bury her child.

Lieutenant Turuchika's mother fainted

The last act of the drama

The epilogue of the tragedy was written in the cemetery near the paternal home of the deceased lieutenant colonel in the village of Pikerni, with the victim 29-year-old Mario-Michael Turoutsika.

There, relatives, friends and colleagues of the sergeant-at-arms, who was posthumously awarded the rank of vice-prefect, the President of the Republic, the leadership of the Ministry of National Defense and Alexis Tsipras, said their “last goodbye” to the deceased Air Force pilot.

His parents were tragic figures with images reminiscent of an ancient tragedy. His father raised his fists in the air to say goodbye to his son and his mother gave her child one last look

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The article is in Greek

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