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Annual Oxi Courage Awards

By on December 2, 2018

Inspire and Showcase the Best of Humanity

This past October, the Washington Oxi Day Foundation again featured #OXIcourage, past and present, before top US policymakers from the White House and State Department, and thought leaders from think tanks and the media. On October 25, at the US Institute of Peace, the Foundation honored modern day fighters for freedom and democracy who exhibit the David vs. Goliath courage of the Greeks in WWII.

Oxi Courage Award recipient Vladimir Kara-Murza and presenter Michael Psaros

Oxi Courage Award recipient Vladimir Kara-Murza and presenter Michael Psaros

The prestigious Oxi Courage Award was presented to twice-poisoned Russian democracy activist Vladimir Kara-Murza and Chinese poet Liu Xia, the widow of China’s greatest dissident and Nobel laureate Liu Xaibo. The Chairman of the national Holocaust Museum Board, Howard Lorber, received the Metropolitan Chrysostomos Award which highlights the courage of the Greeks during the Holocaust.

Laying a wreath at Arlington National Cemetary’s Tomb of the Unknowns in tribute to those who lost their lives in WWII

Laying a wreath at Arlington National Cemetary’s Tomb of the Unknowns in tribute to those who lost their lives in WWII

Earlier in the day, at the National World War II Memorial, the Oxi Day Foundation honored three remarkable WWII veterans – a Greek, a Greek-American and an American – alongside Korean War veteran Michael Johnson who received the prestigious 2018 Michael Jaharis Service Award, for his service in the war and continued service to the Greek-American community.

Jaharis Service Award recipient Michael Johnson with Jaharis Family Foundation Executive Director Peggy Sotirhos Nicholson

Jaharis Service Award recipient Michael Johnson with Jaharis Family Foundation Executive Director Peggy Sotirhos Nicholson

The WWII veterans honored were: 101 year old American veteran nominated by Senator Bob Dole (who previously received this award), Celestino Almeda; 97 year old Greek veteran who fought alongside US troops in the historic D-Day battle, Rear Admiral Theodoros Lymberakis; and (posthumously) Greek-American member of the remarkable OSS (the pre-cursor to the CIA), Alexander Georgiades.

Oxi Courage Award recipient Liu Xia and presenters Jim Chanos, Ted Bozonelis, Andy Manatos and Mike Manatos

Oxi Courage Award recipient Liu Xia and presenters Jim Chanos, Ted Bozonelis, Andy Manatos and Mike Manatos

Previous recipients of the Oxi Courage Award award include:

  • 2017: North Korean defector and human rights activistJi Seong-ho– who 3 months later was featured by the President of the United States in the State of the Union address
  • 2016: Vice PresidentJoe Bidenand son Beau Biden (posthumously)
  • 2016: Escaped ISIS sex slave and 2018 Nobel Peace Prize recipientNadia Murad(nominated by Amal Clooney)
  • Imprisoned Azerbaijani activistLeyla Yunus(nominated and introduced by Bono) – who weeks later was freed from jail
Metropolitan Chrysostomos Chrysostomos Award recipient Howard Lorber with the Ambassador of Greece to the US Haris Lalacos

Metropolitan Chrysostomos Award recipient Howard Lorber with the Ambassador of Greece to the US Haris Lalacos

Journalist James Foley, just weeks after becoming the first American executed by ISIS. (President Bill Clinton introduced Foley and Jim’s parents accepted the award).

Early in the morning of October 28th, 1940, the Greek Prime Minister was awoken to respond to a series of demands from a representative of the Axis Powers which would have allowed foreign troops free reign in Greece. His response was simple, yet firm: “Oxi” — No.

Liu Xia appearing by video at the October 25 gala

Liu Xia appearing by video at the October 25 gala

The Washington Oxi Day Foundation is a nonprofit, 501c3 organization dedicated to informing American policymakers and the public about the profound role Greece played in bringing about the outcome of World War II and celebrating modern day heroes who exhibit the same courage as the Greeks did in continuing to fight to preserve and promote freedom and democracy around the world.

WWII Veterans Georeg Possas and Celestino Almeda at the National WWII Memorial ceremony

WWII Veterans George Possas and Celestino Almeda at the National WWII Memorial ceremony

Today’s heroes around the world who – in the spirit of Oxi Day – courageously battle Goliaths for freedom and democracy are nominated by America’s policymakers and opinion leaders to be honored before international and national leaders convening in Washington, D.C. each October for the Annual Washington Oxi Day Celebration which spans two days and attracts over 400 participants.

Washington Oxi Day Foundation President and Founder Andy Manatos

Washington Oxi Day Foundation President and Founder Andy Manatos

Greek Naval Attached (L) and Greek Defense Attached (R) with the Greatest Generation Award

Greek Naval Attache (L) and Greek Defense Attached (R) with the Greatest Generation Award

Photini Tomai and Peter Georgiades, son of the Greatest Generation Award recipient, Alexander Georgiades

Photini Tomai and Peter Georgiades, son of the Greatest Generation Award recipient, Alexander Georgiades

About NEO Magazine

NEO Magazine. Established 2005. NEO Magazine is published monthly in New York by Neocorp Media Inc.