WASHINGTON, DC – George Logothetis, Libra Group Executive Chairman, introduced the ‘OXI’ Courage Award recipients and was also the Keynote Speaker on October 27 at the Washington ‘OXI’ DAY Foundation Gala held at the United States Institute of Peace. In his speech at the event, Logothetis shared inspiring words about courage seen and unseen.
“On the face of it, we’re here tonight to celebrate courage in all its current manifestations, to recognize heroes of today, but also to remember heroes from yesterday,” he said. “It is our continuing, solemn duty to celebrate those who came before, those who fought for the freedoms that we ourselves did not earn, and recognize those today who are fighting to preserve, protect, and then pass on those very freedoms. But I submit there is more to recognize tonight. Tonight must also be about clarifying what courage really does mean for us in today’s world.”
“I invite us all to reflect on the true and profound meaning of this word. Often we look at heroes in a historical context. Today’s lens superimposed on yesterday’s reality. We know what they faced, we know how they responded, and we know the outcome. Well, they did not. At the very moment these humans acted heroically, they did not know the outcome, whether they would indeed succeed and overcome adversity, or whether they were about to fail, lose, perhaps even their lives. They faced a fearsome paralyzing abyss and they acted. In some cases, immediate threats provoke instinctive responses. The danger comes so quickly one can be denied the freedom to even feel fear. We see a fearless reaction in the moment.
“But I submit courage is feeling the fear, tasting the injustice, feeling in your bones the insidious oppression flowing through you, knowing the potential consequences, and yet acting despite it all. Honored guests, that is courage. Different, distinct from heroism, courage is a choice, a decision, a conscious act to stand firm, the possible consequences be damned, to stand with one’s principles in spite of and despite the fear. There’s a choice for King Leonidas and the 300 Spartans to stand firm, hold the line, confront their fears, and say ‘OXI,’ save the western world, preserve democracy. It was a choice for Prime Minister Metaxas and others in 1941 to stand firm, hold the line, confront their fears, and say ‘OXI’ and save the western world, preserve democracy.
“And these men and women of courage we are honoring tonight, standing firm, holding the line, confronting their fears, burdened and oppressed by fears seen, not yet armed with the outcome unseen. They, too, are saying ‘OXI’.”
Have an idea for a story, or know of an event we should cover? We want to hear about it!
The National Herald is the paper of record of the Greek Diaspora community. Through independent journalism, we bring news to generations of Greek-Americans, with stories on the individual, community and international level. Visit and support our 106 year-old sister publication Εθνικός Κήρυξ.
You’re reading 1 of 3 free articles this month. Get unlimited access to The National Herald. or Log In