WASHINGTON, DC – Representatives Chris Pappas (NH-01), John Sarbanes (MD-03), and Gus Bilirakis (FL-12), Dina Titus (NV-01), and Rob Woodall (GA-07) re-introduced a resolution to designate October 28 as “Oxi Day” to commemorate the Greeks’ refusal to surrender to Axis forces in the Second World War, stymieing the march of fascism across Europe.
On October 28, 1940, the Italian dictator, Benito Mussolini, delivered a 3 AM ultimatum to Greek Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas, demanding that Axis forces freely enter Greece or face war. In response, the Greek Prime Minister declared “Oxi!” (“No!”) – refusing to fold to the fascist ruler, marking Greece’s entry into World War II. As Italian troops began to invade, Greek citizens took to the streets chanting “Oxi!” in honor of Prime Minister Metaxas’ refusal to relent to fascism.
“On October 28, 1940, the Greek people demonstrated unprecedented spirit and courage, changing the trajectory of history,” said Congressman Pappas. “Eight decades later we continue to celebrate Greece’s refusal to bow to the Axis powers and their fascist ideology. As a proud Greek-American I am honored to lead this resolution that allows us to celebrate our Greek allies and our shared democratic values.”
“On this day 80 years ago, Greece stood up against the powers of evil by replying ‘OXI!’ or ‘NO!’ to fascist subjugation. The Greek people could not idly stand by and allow the evils of Fascism to consume Europe. Greece decided to fight for democracy, liberty, and justice, or otherwise see these treasured virtues— originally fostered in Ancient Greece— extinguished under the darkness of fascism,” said Congressman Bilirakis.
“80 years ago, the Greek people famously and courageously stood up against the forces of fascism sweeping across Europe,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “I’m honored to join my Hellenic Caucus colleagues as we salute the Greek people for their heroism in declaring ‘Oxi!’ and resisting the Axis invasion of Greece. This inspiring moment in Greek history stands as an eternal symbol of triumph over authoritarianism and oppression.”
“The bravery and strength demonstrated by the Greek people in the face of fascism 80 years ago serve as an inspiration to us still today,” said Congressman Woodall. “As our nation and freedom-loving countries around the world continue to face threats to our democracies, we can look back to the Greeks and the might they showed to the world.”
“Recognizing Oxi Day is a reminder of the shared commitment between the United States and Greece to freedom and democracy in the face of fascist global threats. On this day and every day, let us continue to be brave like Prime Minister Metaxas and stand up to forces that threaten the values we hold so dear,” said Congresswoman Titus.