Honoring Distinguished Veterans and Remembering Greece’s Historic Courage


Washington, DC, November 11, 2016 — Today, on the occasion of Veterans Day, the Washington Oxi Day Foundation salutes all men and women in uniform who have served valiantly in order to protect freedom and democracy around the world.

As we do annually, on October 27, we proudly honored three distinguished World War II veterans — a Greek-American, a Greek, and an American — with the Greatest Generation Awards at a moving ceremony. This year, we also honored a Korean War veteran with the first annual Jaharis Service Award. While the ceremony usually takes place at the National World War II Memorial, this year, due to inclement weather, it was held on Capitol Hill in a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing room.

d4s_9107Admiral Jim Stavridis and Jim Chanos

Jim Chanos introduced Admiral Jim Stavridis, former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO Global Operations, who accepted the Greatest Generation Award on behalf of his father, Colonel George Stavridis.

To watch a video of this presentation, please click here.

Previous recipients of this Award have included: James Moshovitis (2015);Nicholas J. Bouras and Sam Bouras (2014); Lt. Col. Christopher Mehiel(2013); Brig. Gen. Mike P. Cokinos (2012); and Andrew A. Athens (2011).

d4s_9078Lieutenant Colonel George Vergidis and Colonel Panagiotis Kavidopoulos

Colonel Panagiotis Kavidopoulos, Defense Attaché, Embassy of Greece, introduced Dimitrios Itsios, the heroic Greek who posthumously received theGreatest Generation Award. Lieutenant Colonel George Vergidis accepted the award on behalf of the Itsios family.

To watch a video of this presentation, please click here.

Previous recipients of this Award have included: General George Douratsos(2015); Admiral Ioannis Toumbas (2014); Lt. Gen. Konstantinos Korkas(2013); Antonios Kounalakis (2012); and Panagiotis Sakellaris (2011).

d4s_9144Sean O’Keefe and Catherine Stevens

Sean O’Keefe, former Administrator of NASA, introduced former Senator Ted Stevens, the American veteran who posthumously received the Greatest Generation Award. The late senator’s wife, Catherine Stevens, accepted the award on his behalf.

To watch a video of this presentation, please click here.

Previous recipients of this Award have included: former Senator, astronaut and American hero John Glenn (2015); former Congressman Ralph Hall (2014); the longest-serving Member of Congress John Dingell (2013); former Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Ben Gilman (2012); and former nominee for President of the United States and Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (2011).

d4s_9198Peggy Sotirhos Nicholson and John Payiavlas

Peggy Sotirhos Nicholson, Executive Director of the Jaharis Family Foundation, introduced John Payiavlas, the first recipient of the Jaharis Service Award. Payiavlas, a Korean War veteran, was recognized for his dedicated service to his country and to the community in the spirit of Michael Jaharis.

To watch a video of this presentation, please click here.

30213386494_ee3c1e2c75_zKonstantinos Polykarpou, Leon Andris, Colonel Panagiotis Kavidopoulos, Mike Manatos

On October 28, the Foundation participated in a poignant wreath laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The wreath was laid by Washington Oxi Day Foundation Executive Director Mike Manatos, the Greek Embassy’s Defense Attaché Colonel Panagiotis Kavidopoulos, Foundation Treasurer Leon Andris and Cyprus Embassy Consul Konstantinos Polykarpou.

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