A unique opportunity was offered to Greek students at the primary school “Center of Hellenic Paideia” on October 28th, 2021, for the celebration of “OXI” Day, refusal to surrender to Axis Powers in WWII, 1940. The students communicated digitally with Dr. John Siolas who offered a very attractive and thought-provoking speech to the young students. He told them about the events that took place on the 28th of October 1940. He congratulated the students and the teachers at the school, who encourage the young generation to celebrate and remember such events.
Dr. Isaak Papadopoulos, an assistant professor of applied linguistics and teacher at the same school, thanked Dr. Siolas for his extremely interesting contribution and he invited him to participate in the celebration and the events of the school.
Dr. John G. Siolas is a member of by His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros, primate of the Greek Orthodox Church of America. His virtual address said “my dear Greek children at the Center for Greek Education, I greet you. Miss Mary Raptou is an exceptional Greek educator of Greece. My name is Dr. Ioannis Siolas, and I am a professor of Greek at St John’s University in New York and a member of the High Council for Greek Education in the U.S. of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
How important the day of October 28 is for all Greeks? On the morning of October 28, 1940, the Italian ambassador to Greece presented the then Prime Minister of Greece, Ioannis Metaxas, with the ultimatum by which Mussolini, the leader of Italy, demanded the occupation of certain Greek territories. If Greece did not accept, then it would occupy them with weapons. And it was exactly this historic moment that the Greek Prime Minister answered “NO”, knowing that there is no greater good than the good of freedom. The same answer was given in action, by all the Greek nation together as they poured into the streets.
Forward, my little Greek children … take strength from our God … in the hands of Our Lady, Panagia, and with the embassies of our Saints, continue the struggle for freedom, faith, homeland as a strong and beloved family. Long live Greece! Long live the 28th of October 1940.”
Larissa is the capital and largest city of the Thessaly region, Greece. Legend has it that Achilles was born here. Hippocrates, the “Father of Medicine”, died here. Today, Larissa is an important commercial, transportation, educational, agricultural, and industrial center of Greece.1
All photos by Dr. Isaak Papadopoulos with his permission to print.