I was very saddened to hear in the Houston Chronicle today that fires are raging in many parts of Greece, taking at least sixty lives so far, and threatening to destroy ancient ruins. The fires reached the edge of the museum and stadium at Olympia yesterday, but the museum and ruins were spared thanks to firefighters who were helped by helicopters and aircraft that dumped water and foam over the site. The fires have been burning for three days and are burning in more than half the country now. The fires are raging so quickly that they are covering a mile in three minutes. The news reports a grim scene of people desperate to get out in the last minute as the fire engulfed them, leaving dozens of charred bodies along roads and in cars.
My heart goes out to the people of Greece, people who have warmly welcomed me in their beautiful country time and again.
"Zeus of the aegis, son of Kronos, has given me bitterness" (Iliad, 2.375)