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Politics

Congressman Chris Pappas Leads Resolution to Honor ‘OXI’ Day

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Chris Pappas (NH-01) on October 28 introduced a bipartisan resolution to designate October 28th as ‘OXI’ Day. On October 28, 1940 Greek Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas refused to surrender to Axis forces, answering ‘OXI!’ – or “No!” – to Italian dictator Benito Mussolini’s 3 AM ultimatum that he allow Axis forces to freely enter Greece or face war. Prime Minister Metaxas’ refusal to relent to fascism sparked a national resistance movement and Greece ultimately became the first country to repel an Axis invasion. Greece’s resistance required Nazi forces to delay their invasion of Russia to intervene in the Greco-Italian War, a delay which caused the Nazi regime to face a brutal Russian winter which hindered their advance and contributed to their eventual defeat.

“On this day 82 years ago, the Greek people demonstrated unprecedented courage and determination in their refusal to bow to the Axis Powers. Decades later, we continue to recognize how this monumental decision shaped history,” said Congressman Pappas. “As a proud Greek-American, I’m honored to lead this resolution to celebrate our Greek allies and our shared democratic values.”

The resolution has the support of the Washington ‘OXI’ Day Foundation, the Order of AHEPA), the Daughters of Penelope, PSEKA, the Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC), and the American Hellenic Institute (AHI).

“Thank you, Congressman Chris Pappas, for highlighting ‘OXI’ Day for the Congress and the people of the United States. It is one of the most pivotal moments in modern history that changed the trajectory for all our lives,” said Andy Manatos, Founder and President of the Washington ‘OXI’ Day Foundation. “It is remarkable,” he continued. “how little Greece, alone in the world, challenged ‘the German monster’ that crushed 14 nations, including the strongest, and moved British Prime Minister Churchill to later observe that without Greece’s unthinkable courage Adolf Hitler might have won the war and his goal of world domination.”

“AHEPA applauds and proudly supports the ‘OXI’ Day resolution introduced by Congressman Pappas with the bipartisan support of several Hellenic Caucus members,” said AHEPA Supreme President Jimmy Kokotas. He added, “I commend their leadership to commemorate the anniversary of ‘OXI’ Day and to recognize the historical significance of Greece’s role during World War II. Greece’s denial of fascism set the tone and does not garner the attention it deserves in the annals of history.”

“The Daughters of Penelope sincerely appreciates Congressman Pappas’ commitment to the proper recognition of ‘OXI’ Day with his sponsorship of a resolution to properly recognize the significance and legacy of Greece’s defiant ‘No’ to Axis Powers in the early stages of World War. We also thank and commend the bipartisan support of many Hellenic Caucus members who joined on the resolution as original co-sponsors. We proudly support the resolution,” said Daughters of Penelope Grand President Georgette Boulegeris.

“As we witnessed the invasion of Ukraine, and reminded of the 1974 invasion of Cyprus by Turkey, we salute October 28th ‘OXI’ Day that symbolizes the brave resistance of Greece against the invading forces of Mussolini and Hitler,” said Philip Christopher, President of the International Coordinating Committee Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA).

“From Ukraine to Iran – the spirit of ‘OXI’ Day is pulsing through the veins of those fighting for freedom,” said Endy Zemenides, Executive Director, Hellenic American Leadership Council, who also said, “thank you to Congressman Pappas for this reminder that the triumph of evil, no matter how the odds may temporarily stacked in its favor, is not inevitable. The Greeks resisted all odds 82 years ago, we can do that today.”

Nick Larigakis, President, American Hellenic Institute, noted that, “Greece had a pivotal role in WWII, and helped tilt the tide of the war against the axis powers, In fact, Greece helped give the allies its first victory against the axis powers. However, Greece’s place in history is not well known or understood. This is very unfortunate, and needs to be remedied through education and the promotion of the issue. As such, I am glad that Congressman Pappas is bringing to light Greece’s historical importance in World War II through a congressional ‘OXI’ Day resolution.”

Congressman Pappas is the first member of Congress to introduce legislation recognizing ‘OXI’ Day. Pappas first introduced a bipartisan resolution designating October 28th as ‘OXI’ Day in 2019. He did so again in 2020 and 2021, each time with bipartisan support.

The resolution is available online: https://bit.ly/3Wd2MmV.

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