A proud tradition continued on Memorial Day 2011, when the AHEPA leadership paid their respects on behalf of the Greek-American community to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for freedom, democracy, and liberty at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. Since 1924, Ahepans have returned annually to Arlington for this memorial.
Supreme President Nicholas A. Karacostas, accompanied by Veterans Supreme Secretary Anthony Kouzounis, Col. Nicholas P. Vamvakias (ret.), and Supreme Governor Region 2 Dr. Pete Nickolas, participated at the wreath laying ceremony. An Honor Guard Specialist assisted them.
“It is a unique and powerfully moving experience,” said Karacostas,.
On Saturday, May 28th, sixty Ahepans from the mid-Atlantic Region, led by AHEPA Chapter 31, Washington, DC, gathered to memorialize those identified as Greek-Americans or Greek Orthodox who are buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
According to organizers, there are roughly 660 gravesides where Ahepans presented a wreath of artificial flowers and paused in remembrance of those who perished for our nation. This ceremony, coordinated by Past Chapter 31 President Vasilis Skardis and Past AHEPA Executive Director and retired Navy Captain Demosthenes Kolaras, has been performed annually since 1949.
Many past and present AHEPA family officers attended including:
Supreme Treasurer Col. Nicholas P. Vamvakias (ret.), Past Board of Directors Member C. Steven Georgilakis, Past Supreme Presidents of the Sons of Pericles Chris Chiames and Basil Mossaidis, District 3 Governor Demetri Govotsios, Past District 3 Governor Steve Mavronis as well as chapter officers and members from many AHEPA chapters, including Col. Peter N. Derzis Chapter 438, Arlington, Va. Daughters of Penelope Executive Director Elena Saviolakis also participated.