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People of Service and Courage to be Honored by Oxi Day Foundation

Oxi Day
Photo from the 2019 Oxi Day celebration in Washington D.C. Credit: Oxi Day Foundation

The Oxi Day Foundation announced recently the honorees that will receive the Oxi Service and Courage Awards and Calamos Service Award on October 28, on the anniversary of the historic “Oxi” (No) Greece said in 1940 to the fascist designs of Italy’s Mussolini.

Each year, the Foundation carries out its signature event — the Annual Washington Oxi Day Celebration. This event brings together senior US policymakers and other international opinion leaders and influential Washingtonians, along with prominent Greek-American leaders.

This year the Oxi Day awards will take place at The National World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. A wreath laying ceremony will be held at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of Arlington National Cemetery, on Saturday October 29.

For full schedule of event click here

The recipients of the Oxi Service Award are: WWII Veteran Efthemios J. “Tim” Bentas and Korean Var Veteran Stephen Cherpelis. Vietnam War Veteran Peter J. Vergados will receive the Calamos Service Award.

Zarifa Ghafari, Afghanistan’s first female and youngest mayor and Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara, the jailed leader of Cuba’s anti-government protests will receive the Oxi Courage Award.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will be honored with the Metropolitan Chrysostomos Award.

The Oxi Day Foundation commemorates the day Greece refused to surrender and proceeded to inflict a fatal wound that brought down the Axis Forces in WWII. It also aims to celebrate modern heroes of freedom and democracy who today display the “Oxi Day Spirit” for freedom and democracy and to improve the perception of Greece today.

Oxi Day 2020 honorees

Among last year’s honorees was Steve Pisanos, a WWII, Korea and Vietnam War Veteran who posthumously received the inaugural “Calamos Service Award.”

Known as “The Flying Greek,” Pisanos, who was born in Athens in 1919, had a distinguished career serving in all three wars. He served in both the Royal Air Force and the United States Air Force during the Second World War and became the first person naturalized as a US citizen while on foreign soil.

He continued his service in the US Air Force during the Vietnam War and retired from service in 1974, having earned thirty-three decorations and distinctions.

John P. Calamos, Sr., Chairman of Calamos Investments, also a decorated Vietnam veteran, presented the award during the ceremony.

“I can think of no better first recipient of the first Calamos Service Award than the ‘Flying Greek’,” Calamos said.

Other personalities that were honored were the Wuhan whistleblower doctors, Dr. Joseph Costa, who gave his life fighting Covid, Congressman John Lewis, civil rights leader and icon and WWII Veteran Andrew Mousalimas.

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