Washington, DC -On October 25, 2005, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney met with Dora Bakoyiannis, the Mayor of Athens, and Alexandros Mallias, the recently-appointed Greek Ambassador to the United States, at a dinner organized by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Congressman Michael Bilirakis (FL) also attended the event, which was held in honor of the Mayor’s visit to the United States.
“Mayor Bakoyiannis was instrumental in bringing the 2004 Olympics to Athens,” Congresswoman Maloney said. “The Mayor lit the Olympic flame in Athens Park in Astoria and she carried that spirit all the way to Greece, where she organized a wonderful and thrilling Olympic games. It is an honor to welcome Mayor Bakoyiannis back to America.”
On October 26, 2005, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney gave a statement on the House floor in celebration of OXI Day. Congresswoman Maloney said:
“Mr. Speaker, I rise to join the Hellenic-Americans and Philhellenes in my district and throughout the country in celebrating “OXI Day (No Day),” which falls on the 28th of October. This year marks the 65th anniversary of a very important day in Hellenic history, the day on which brave Greek patriots said “NO” to fascism, “NO” to injustice, and “NO” to slavery.
“For those individuals who lived through that momentous period and their descendants, many of whom live in the 14th Congressional District of New York,”OXI Day” is more than a memory: it is the embodiment of Hellenism and its highest ideals.
“On October 28, 1940, a terrifying sound went up throughout all Greek cities and towns, the sound of sirens and klaxons announcing the invasion of Greece by the Nazis. Walls that before had echoed only with the tolling of church bells now reverberated with the din of alarms.
“At a time when Europe was descending into the inferno of another world war, the people of Greece did not panic. Men went calmly to their closets and retrieved their military uniforms and weapons. Women went about their necessary tasks, and the children assisted as they were able. With level-headed determination and steadfast resolve, the citizenry of Greece mobilized against the coming invaders and delivered their resounding “NO!” to the Axis aggressors.
“On OXI Day, the people of Greece chose the harder path, the path of resistance. If they had opened their gates to the invaders, much bloodshed and many deprivations might have been avoided. That brave generation of Hellenes, refused to submit to oppression, even at the cost of their homes, their land, and their lives. They chose to fight and even to die so that their children and the children of other nations might live in liberty. Theirs was an act of self-sacrifice that clearly proclaimed the humanitarian ideals of their Orthodox Christian faith and their ethnic heritage.
“Demonstrating poise under pressure, the heroes of that period fought against tyranny and delayed the Axis onslaught in the Balkan Peninsula. The Greek nation which said “OXI” contributed to the eventual downfall of the Fascist powers in Europe.
“Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in saluting the heroes of OXI Day. In their brave words and deeds we see all of the highest virtues of Hellenic heritage: passion for justice, courage at a time of trial, unity in the midst of conflict, and willingness to sacrifice one’s life for the good of others. On this day, we thank Greece for saying ‘OXI.'”