In all of world history, there are only a handful of examples of a “David” taking on a “Goliath” and effectively changing the course of history. Many of these events have become part of the collective public memory through means other than our history books. Film has enabled us to remember the 300 Spartans at the Battle of Thermopylae, and the musical “Les Miserables” has helped us remember the spirit at the barricades of the French Revolution. Remembrance of such courageous acts is important, as it encourages their repetition.
Forgotten among these rare acts of eminent heroism that changed the course of history are the unsurpassed acts of bravery of the Greek people against Hitler’s seemingly unstoppable Axis Forces.
The world cowered in fear as the greatest military force the world had known crushed the world’s previously greatest military powers and country after country. In this foreboding environment, the people of little Greece refused to surrender and bravely stepped forward to fight. In doing so, Greece inflicted a fatal wound on Axis forces at a crucial moment in World War II, forcing Hitler to change his timeline, delaying the attack on Russia where the Axis Forces met defeat. Winston Churchill said, “If there had not been the virtue and courage of the Greeks, we do not know which the outcome of World War II would have been.”
It was one of the most consequential “David vs. Goliath” victories for freedom and democracy in the modern world and, at the time, an act that inspired and gave hope to the free world. Yet over time, this story of Greece’s victory has become forgotten.
The Washington Oxi Day Foundation’s events and ongoing activities will resurrect the incredible Oxi Day story and assure it becomes part of the collective public memory. Through participation in our ceremonies and their nomination of prospective winners of various Oxi Day awards, hundreds of national policymakers and opinion leaders with a national audience will learn of modern Greece’s heroic feat.