Pappas leads Hellenic Caucus in introducing Oxi Day resolution
WASHINGTON – Friday, U.S. Rep. Chris Pappas (NH-01), co-chair of the Congressional Hellenic Caucus, led bipartisan members of the Hellenic Caucus in introducing a bipartisan resolution to designate October 28th as Oxi Day.
On October 28, 1940 Greek Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas refused to surrender to Axis forces, answering “Oxi!” – or “No!” – to Italian dictator Benito Mussolini’s 3 A.M. ultimatum that he allow Axis forces to freely enter Greece or face war. Prime Minister Metaxas’ refusal to relent to fascism sparked a national resistance movement and Greece ultimately became the first country to repel the Axis invasion. Greece’s resistance required Nazi forces to delay their invasion of Russia to intervene in the Greco-Italian War, a delay which caused the Nazi regime to face a brutal Russian winter which hindered their advance and ultimately led to their eventual defeat.
“On this day 83 years ago, the Greek people demonstrated unprecedented courage and determination in their refusal to bow to the Axis Powers. Decades later, we continue to recognize how this monumental decision shaped history,” said Congressman Pappas. “As a proud Greek-American, I’m honored to lead this resolution to celebrate our Greek allies and our shared democratic values.
“Thank you, Congressman Chris Pappas, for helping our country remember that before America and the Soviet Union entered WWII, and after Hitler’s Axis Forces defeated 14 nations and sent the British into retreat to Dunkirk, courageous Greece stood essentially alone to give the Axis Forces with their first defeat. As Hitler’s Chief of Staff said himself, Greece was crucial to their defeat,” said Andy Manatos, President and Founder of the Washington Oxi Day Foundation.
Pappas was the first member of Congress to introduce legislation recognizing Oxi Day. Pappas first introduced a bipartisan resolution designating October 28th as Oxi Day in 2019. He did so again in 2020 and 2021, each time with bipartisan support.