Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Victory, Freedom... Panagia with him

Our Greek School presents numerous programs throughout the year... Christmas, Three Hierarchs, Greek Independence Day, Graduation, and the OXI Day Commemoration.

"The Anniversary of NO", that we so endearingly call OXI (ochi) Day commemorates Greek Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas' rejection of the ultimatum made by Italian dictator Mussolini on October 28, 1940. Who would have thought that a poor, small country like Greece would have been so brave in their simple response of "OXI" No!. No, Greece would not allow Axis forces to enter Greek territory and occupy strategic locations. Yes, they would follow their simple answer with bravery of heart and spirit and mark the beginning of Greece's participation in World War II. Since 1942, October 28th has been celebrated in Greek communities around the world with programs and parades.

In presenting this history lesson to my students, I like to include images of the time period. They are always so interested. And although many include soldiers and weapons, the ones that grab their attention the most are those that include the image of the Panagia. They inherently know that Panagia is in these images because she protects and prays for soldiers, she protects and prays for everyone. Their responses to these images are so genuine, and so right on point that they teach me a lesson or two in the end... like one of my students said yesterday, Panagia is always hugging us, just like she hugs the soldier in the poster and how she hugs "Christouli" in church.

Join in the celebration of OXI day by coloring your own Greek flag to display at home:


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