Commemorating Oxi Day, When Greece Gave the World Hope

October 28, 2018

The commemoration of Oxi Day is as significant today as it was during World War II, and perhaps even more so now, when we see the continuing oppression and persecution of people around the world. As one by one the nations of Europe fell under the heel of Axis oppression, no one expected Greece, a relatively small nation, to stand up and derail the enemy forces.

On October 28, 1940 at 3 AM, the Greek Prime Minister faced the demand for Greece’s surrender and gave the one-word answer, Oxi, and in a matter of hours, the Axis forces descended on Greece. Expecting an easy victory, they underestimated the Greeks and were pushed back.

News of Greece’s victory against the fascist Italian forces in the mountains of northern Greece and Albania spread quickly via radio and soon covered the front pages of newspapers around the globe.

The victory was not just for the people of the Hellenic Republic but also for Hellenes of the diaspora, especially those in the United States, and for the entire world.

Greece gave hope to all the nations that had fallen under Axis oppression, forcing Hitler to change his plans, delaying the invasion of Russia (then-Soviet Union), and essentially turning the tide of the war. The valiant effort by the Greeks inspired the now famous quote from Winston Churchill, “Hence, we will not say that Greeks fight like heroes, but that heroes fight like Greeks.”

Greek-American children grow up learning about the meaning of Oxi in Greek school with the annual celebration, the songs and the plays, and especially the poems we memorized and practiced over and over again. The story was a profound one and made us proud of our heritage, but the fact that more people, outside of the Greek community, do not know about Oxi Day is a shame.

Thankfully, there are individuals and organizations trying to solve this problem.

The Washington Oxi Day Foundation hosts a series of events each year to honor the Greatest Generation and commemorate Oxi Day and all those who fight for freedom and justice around the world. As noted on the foundation’s website, “Today’s heroes around the world who – in the spirit of Oxi Day – courageously battle Goliaths for freedom and democracy are nominated by America’s policymakers and opinion leaders to be honored before international and national leaders convening in Washington, DC each October for the Annual Washington Oxi Day Celebration.”

The Washington Oxi Day Foundation is dedicated to informing American policymakers and the public about the profound role Greece played in bringing about the outcome of World War II and celebrating modern day heroes who exhibit the same courage as the Greeks did in continuing to fight to preserve and promote freedom and democracy around the world.

AHEPA’s Oxi Day Commemoration takes place on October 27 at Ellis Island. Lectures by Anna Koulouris, the communications advisor and journalist for the Patriarchate of Jerusalem who will speak about Religious Persecution in the Holy Land, and Vassilios Chrissochos, AHEPA District 6 Director of Hellenism, on the Historical Significance of Oxi Day.

A screening of The 11th Day, the story of the men, women, and children of the Cretan civilian Resistance movement and the relentless battle against Nazi occupation forces from 1941 to 1945 will also be held. More information is available at oxiday.com.

In this special issue, we commemorate that historic day and hope to continue to honor the memory of those who sacrificed all for freedom.


ATHENS - A regulation in an omnibus bill will allow repatriated Greeks from Albania and the former Soviet Union to receive full national pensions, Labor and Social Protection Minister Kostis Hatzidakis said during a discussion in Greek Parliament on Tuesday.

Top Stories


A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.


‘In the Wine Dark Sea’ Documentary on Wines of Crete Now on Prime Video

BALTIMORE, MD – Wine Cellar Stories Productions announced the release of ‘In the Wine Dark Sea,’ the exciting new wine documentary by Chrisa Giorgi, featuring Master of Wine Konstantinos Lazarakis and 11 winemakers from Crete, Greece.

For the fifth consecutive year, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) is once again transformed into the city’s most magical Christmas destination On Wednesday, December 1, at 19:00.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Emboldened House Democrats ushered in a new generation of leaders on Wednesday with Rep.

STORRS, CT – The Center for Hellenic Studies ‘Paideia’ of the University of Connecticut gave a warm welcome to Greece’s Minister of Culture Lina Mendoni, who paid a visit to the Center on November 29.

ATHENS - Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Wednesday spoke on the phone with his Italian counterpart, Giorgia Meloni, whom he congratulated on assuming her duties.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.