August 31, 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 … [Read more...]

Memorial Day

Among Your saints give rest, O Christ, to the souls of Your servants, in a place where there is no pain, or sorrow, or grieving, but only life everlasting. Now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen. The American Battle Monuments Commission oversees 24 permanent American burial grounds on foreign soil in places like Ardennes, Belgium; Brittany, France; Cambridge, England; Flanders Field, Belgium; Florence, Italy; Manila, Philippines; Meuse-Argonne, France; Normandy, France; North Africa, Tunisia; Sicily-Rome, Italy; and Somme, France. Presently there are 124,909 U.S. war dead interred at these cemeteries, 30,921 of World War I, 93,238 of World War II and 750 of the Mexican War. Additionally 6,177 American veterans and others are interred in the Mexico City and Corozal American Cemeteries. Brief video tours of a number of these cemeteries are posted online. Here is the video tour of the American Cemetery in Henri-Chapelle, … [Read more...]