New York.- By Catherine Tsounis
Greece’s successful defeat of the Axis Powers in the first victory of the Allies was celebrated by the Federation of the Dodecanesian Society of America with a lecture. The Event took place at the Hellenic Cultural Center of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America in Astoria. Professor Christopher Tripoulas spoke on the historic significance of OHI Day, October 28th. Constantine E. Skaros discussed the upcoming presidential elections. George Andriotis is President of the Federation of the Dodecanesian Society of America. Rev. Anastasios Pourakis, Rev. George Anastasiou and Constantine Sirigos were present.
Mr. Skaros presented the importance of having more Greek lobbies to promote Greek national issues in America. “We need a stronger presence in Washington,” he said in Greek. The speaker discussed Republican and Democratic Party platforms. Mr. Nicholas Andriotis commended the American born speaker on his flawless Greek accent and outstanding delivery of difficult concepts in simple terms. Anna and Stavros Zachariades said with pride that Mr. Skaros is from their island of Nisyros.
Professor Christopher Tripoulas stated “We overcame obstacles on October 28th when we refused to surrender to a superior political force. 1940 was a time of European darkness without one victory towards the Axis Powers. Greece gave the first light of victory. The Greek American war effort was tremendous, possibly raising ten million dollars in financial aid. The miracle of 1940 on the mountains was the Greek destruction of enemy lines pushing them in retreat into Albania. We do not surrender, but fight to the end for freedom.” Professor Tripoulas, an American born international Greek scholar from the island of Ikaria, received a spontaneous ovation.
John and Nancy Sakellis represented the Pan-Coan Society “Hippocrates”. “We sincerely hope the modern Greeks of our time will follow the example of the Greeks of 1940,” said Mr. Sakellis. “The WWII Greeks sacrificed their lives on October 28th to be free.” The Dodecanesian tradition of helping islanders and all persons continues. In 2009, the Pan-Coan Society “Hippocrates”, Syllogos Kefalou “Isodia Tis Theotokou” and Kardamena Town Society presented Sevasti Sable Diakos with a four thousand dollar scholarship. “I cannot thank them enough,” said Sable at the time. Mr. John Sakellis of the Pan-Coan Society Hippocrates and Mr. Manolis Stamatis and Antonios Drossos of the Syllogos Kefalou “Isodia Tis Theotokou” were the leaders who inspired their members to create this unprecedented scholarship.