(English Follows the Greek)
Oxi Day Statement by the Honourable Jim Karygiannis,
Member of Parliament for Scarborough-Agincourt
I would like to take this opportunity to extend my best wishes to members of the Canadian Greek community on the occasion of Oxi Day.
On October 28, 1940, at dawn, the Italian ambassador in Greece, Emanuele Grazzi, presented Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas an ultimatum. Benito Mussolini had demanded that the Axis Forces be allowed to enter Greece and occupy certain unspecified strategic locations otherwise, he would declare war. The Prime Minister answered with a single phrase, ‘Οχι or No'.
The courageous and valiant efforts of the out-numbered Greek army that fought and defeated the Italian forces in Albania has been honored by Sir Winston Churchill's remarks ‘Today we say that Greeks fight like heroes, from now on we will say that heroes fight like Greeks'.
This was the beginning of Greece's involvement in World War II, which ended with the victory of the Allied Forces on May 8, 1945.
In Greece, Oxi Day is marked by military parades and student parades where people pay tribute to those who fought in World War II for freedom and democracy.
As an immigrant, I am proud to be a Canadian and celebrate my Greek heritage. Like other immigrants, my family and I have worked hard to establish ourselves in this country and, in the process, we have been given the opportunity to participate in Canadian society and to help build Canada. Each year, I, together with members of the Canadian Greek community, observe Oxi Day with parades and, in so doing, share our heritage with our fellow Canadians as a way to promote greater understanding between communities.Hon. Jim Karygiannis P.C., M.P.
3850 Finch Ave E #206
Toronto Ontario M1T 3T6