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Ζήτω η Ελλάδα
"These take as your model...judge happiness to be the fruit of freedom and freedom of valour…” The Funeral Oration of Pericles c. 410 BCE

Today the world commemorates the 80th anniversary of “Oxi Day” and remembers the ways in which honor and courage truly can change the world.

 On October 28, 1940, as the Axis Powers moved virtually unchallenged across Europe, the Greek Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas rejected the demand of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini that Axis forces be allowed to enter Greece and occupy certain “strategic locations.” According to legend, Metaxas’s response was a simple “Oxi” (No). As a result, Italian and later German forces descended upon the small nation of Greece. The Battle of Greece lasted six months, seriously slowing the fascist advance across Europe and giving the Allied Powers an important strategic and moral victory. The “Oxi” of Greece helped turn the tide of the Second World War. Today, Oxi Day is celebrated as a commemoration of
Greek valor and the Hellenic spirit of freedom.

This legacy was very much alive and on display at the Washington
Oxi Day Foundation’s 10th Annual Courage and Service Awards,
which occurred virtually this year.

The National Hellenic Museum’s Chairman, Mr. John Calamos, presented the inaugural Calamos Service Award posthumously to Colonel Steve Pisanos (US Airforce, ret.). The Calamos Service Award is intended to honor a Vietnam-era veteran for his or her service to the United States and was recently established by Mr. Calamos, who is himself a Vietnam-era veteran and recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Click the button below to watch the Virtual Awards Ceremony
Colonel Pisanos served in both the Royal Airforce and the United States Airforce during the Second World War and became the first person naturalized as a US citizen while on foreign soil. He continued his service in the US Airforce during the Vietnam War and retired from service in 1974, having thirty-three decorations and distinctions. His distinguished career remains a symbol of both the tradition of Hellenic bravery and service exemplified by Oxi Day and the rich history of Greek American service to the United States. You can learn more about Col. Steve Pisanos and his extraordinary life by viewing The Steve Pisanos Collection through the National Hellenic Museum’s digital collections portal by
clicking the button below.

Visitors to NHM exhibitions and tours are invited to interact hands-on with culture and to reflect about making their own place in history. The legacy of Hellenism lives on through active learning at the Museum!


NHM has developed a variety of online educational content, including online videos and our first digital exhibition, Snapshot of Life: The George Phillos Photograph Collection.


NHM members receive benefits all year long. Enjoy free admission, discounts to programs and lectures, a membership gift and much more.

National Hellenic Museum
333 South Halsted Street
Chicago, IL 60661

$10 Adults
$8 Seniors and Students
$7 Children 3 and up