Steven G. Xiarhos, a Greek-American politician and retired law enforcement officer, has a sad and personal story to tell on Memorial Day.
Xiarhos, now serving as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, recalled, speaking to Greek Reporter some years ago, the untimely death of his son Nicholas, who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2010.
A bomb hit the tank that was carrying Nick and his fellow US Marines near the town of Gasmir, Afghanistan.
Nick, a strong giant with a pure heart, died on July 23rd, 2009 together with two other soldiers. Ever since, his family and Deputy Chief Steven G. Xiarhos, Nick’s proud Golden Star father, have had their lives drastically changed but have always stayed strong to tell Nick’s story.
Watch the interview with Nick’s father below:
In an interview with Chief Xiarhos, he tells his son’s story despite the pain. In his own words he says: “Nick is my hero, we have to remember [him] and tell [his] story.”
Mr. Xiarhos, whose roots are in the town of Mani in the Peloponnese, has never visited Greece but now has a new goal.
Xiarhos’ four decades of service
“Since Nick died I have run two Marathons, the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. and the one in Boston. My goal now is to go to Athens and run the Marathon where it all started. I want to do that in Nick’s memory and carry my flags…and return home.”
Republican Steven Xiarhos edged Democrat James Dever by 1,167 votes in the run for the 5th Barnstable District of the Massachusetts State Legislature.
A grandson of Greek immigrants, Xiarhos spent forty years as a Yarmouth police officer, including time as the police chief.
During those four decades of service, Steve was promoted to the ranks of Detective, Patrol Force Commander, Detective Division Commander, and eventually, Deputy Chief of Police. He retired from the police department on December 8, 2019.
Greek Americans and Memorial Day
Memorial Day in the United States is a day set aside to remember and honor members of the military who have passed in America’s wars. There are many Greek-Americans that have sacrificed their lives for America’s freedom throughout the years in various wars.
Amongst the first was George Dilboy killed in France during World War I. He was killed on a battlefield near Belleau, France after fighting so courageously that he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, America’s highest medal for bravery.
The Greek-American’s conspicuous heroism was so outstanding that he was recognized and honored by three US presidents. Woodrow Wilson signed the authorization awarding Dilboy the Medal of Honor; Warren G. Harding brought his remains back to be buried with honors at Arlington National Cemetery; and Calvin Coolidge presided at his final burial there.