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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Oxi Day remembered as time for heroes

Oxi Day, celebrating the Greek people saying "No" to Mussolini during World War II, was celebrated in Marietta, Georgia at Holy Transfiguration Church following the divine morning liturgy service.

On hand for the celebration ceremony was the Honorable Vasilios Goulousis, consul of Greece in Atlanta, who manages the country's image in Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

Johnson with Goulousis (Photo by Kurk Johnson)
"We are confident that our efforts will yield results in the medium term," Goulousis said during our interview about his mission and the state of the Greek economy. When asked about his opinions concerning Greece's economic conditions being interjected into the U.S. presidential debate as a bad circumstance to emulate, Goulousis said that it is not the practice for his office to become involved in the political affairs of the United States.

At the end of the ceremony, the consul and his mother presented Fr. Panayiotis Papageorgiou, protopresbyter of Holy Transfiguration, with two authentic Greek costumes.

Hellenic Studies students watched as costumes were presented by Greek Consul to Father Papageorgiou. (Photo by Tomi Johnson)
Oxi Day is regarded by Greeks as a turning point in WWII, when the Greek people were issued an ultimatum by then Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini to allow his forces to occupy Greece. The offer was declined by Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas.

"Greeks at that time didn't have many arms but were protected by the land, hillsides, mountains, and what became known as modern day guerrilla fighting tactics," said Harry
Mavromatidis, a church member and tour guide during the annual Greek festivals held at Holy Transfiguration Church. "Greeks were heroes during WWII which is not mentioned a lot today."

©2012 Tomi Johnson. All rights reserved. 

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