Washington, DC, November 1, 2018 — The Washington Oxi Day Foundation again featured #OXIcourage, past and present, before top US policymakers from the White House and State Department, and thought leaders from think tanks and the media. On October 25, at the US Institute of Peace, the Foundation honored modern day fighters for freedom and democracy who exhibit the David vs. Goliath courage of the Greeks in WWII.

Oxi Courage Award recipient Vladimir Kara-Murza and presenter Michael Psaros

The prestigious Oxi Courage Award was presented to twice-poisoned Russian democracy activist Vladimir Kara-Murza and Chinese poet Liu Xia, the widow of China’s greatest dissident and Nobel laureate Liu Xaibo. The Chairman of the national Holocaust Museum Board, Howard Lorber, received the Metropolitan Chrysostomos Award which highlights the courage of the Greeks during the Holocaust.

Previous recipients of the Oxi Courage Award award include:

  • 2017: North Korean defector and human rights activist Ji Seong-ho – who 3 months later was featured by the President of the United States in the State of the Union address
  • 2016: Vice President Joe Biden and son Beau Biden (posthumously)
  • 2016: Escaped ISIS sex slave and 2018 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Nadia Murad (nominated by Amal Clooney)
  • Imprisoned Azerbaijani activist Leyla Yunus (nominated and introduced by Bono) – who weeks later was freed from jail
  • Journalist James Foley, just weeks after becoming the first American executed by ISIS. (President Bill Clinton introduced Foley and Jim’s parents accepted the award)

WWII Veterans George Possas and Celestino Almeda at the National WWII Memorial ceremony

Earlier in the day, at the National World War II Memorial, the Oxi Day Foundation honored three remarkable WWII veterans – a Greek, a Greek-American and an American – alongside Korean War veteran Michael Johnson who received the prestigious 2018 Michael Jaharis Service Award, for his service in the war and continued service to the Greek-American community.

The WWII veterans honored were: 101 year old American veteran nominated by Senator Bob Dole (who previously received this award), Celestino Almeda; 97 year old Greek veteran who fought alongside US troops in the historic D-Day battle, Rear Admiral Theodoros Lymberakis; and (posthumously) Greek-American member of the remarkable OSS (the pre-cursor to the CIA), Alexander Georgiades.

Photos courtesy of Paul Morse & Bill Petros