April 24, 2014

Memorial Day: The Greek Battalion

A really interesting video from the Greek Heritage Society of Southern California, a nonprofit organization established in 1985, which is raising funds for a documentary project (HT: Daily Frappe). This short talks about the formation of a Greek Battalion in the U.S. Army during WW II. You also see the rapid integration of an immigrant community into American institutional and civil society because of this service. And this applied to not just the Greeks but to all Orthodox Christian communities.

I also had to laugh about the comments about wearing the foustanela, later on in the video. I vividly recall, as a schoolboy, my recitation of patriotic poetry at a Greek Independence Day program in the hall of St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Pontiac, Michigan (the old building on Mariva Street). They gave me a little slip of paper, a cheat sheet, from which I read the poem in Greek. A big hit with the audience. Lots of bravos! Fortunately, I didn’t have to do it dressed up like an evzone.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wK76Nny8SF0[/youtube]

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