Greek-American organization AHEPA honored all those who were killed in battle, including soldiers of Greek descent, on Memorial Day.
In their annual event for fallen soldiers, AHEPA members paid their respects to all those killed in battle, who “made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom, democracy, and liberty…on behalf of a grateful American Hellenic community” at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
This includes the nearly 600 Greek-American soldiers who are buried at the country’s military cemetery.
Paying their respects to the dead, members of AHEPA placed a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, as a U.S. Army Band Bugler played Taps.
Each year since 1924, members of the Hellenic organization have placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery.
This year, Supreme President George G. Horiates, Col. Nicholas P. Vamvakias (USA, Retired), chair of the AHEPA Veterans Committee, and Col. Vasileios Lambropoulos, defense attaché of Embassy of Greece, had the honor of placing the wreath at the hallowed site.
AHEPA’s annual Memorial Day event
Reflecting on the moving experience, AHEPA’s Supreme President Horiates stated that the memorial was “one of the most unforgettable and remarkably moving experiences of my life.”
“Today, we honored the sacrifices of those throughout our nation’s history who paid the ultimate price. We expressed in a small, yet significant way, our community’s gratitude to our nation’s fallen. Around the world, our brave men and women continue to be in harm’s way and they will always have our unwavering appreciation and support,” Horiates expressed.
Since 1949, members of AHEPA and Daughters of Penelope have honored the grave sites of Greek-Americans and Greek Orthodox people buried in Arlington Cemetery by offering a moment of silence and leaving a red rose near the gravestones.
“I commend the AHEPA family of the metro Washington, DC area for its carefully detailed effort to honor properly the memory of the brave souls of our community who sacrificed for our freedom,” Supreme President Horiates said.
“I appreciated the opportunity to share this memorable experience with them.”