On Memorial Day we remember a Greek-American hero who gave his life in Afghanistan for America’s freedom. Nicholas Xiarhos would have turned 24 on February 12, 2012. Unfortunately two years ago, a bomb hit the tank that was carrying Nick and his fellow US Marines near the town of Gasmir, Afghanistan. Nick, a strong giant with a pure heart, died on July 23rd, 2009, together with two other soldiers. Since then his family and Deputy Chief Steven G. Xiarhos, Nick’s proud Golden Star father, have had their lives drastically changed but have always stayed strong to tell Nick’s story.
Watch the interview with Nick’s father below:
We interviewed Chief Xiarhos to tell his son’s story despite the pain. As he put it “Nick is my hero, we have to remember them and tell their story.”
Mr. Xiarhos, whose roots are in the town of Mani in Peloponnese, has never visited Greece but now has a new goal.
“Since Nick died I have run two Marathons, the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC and the one in Boston. My goal now is to go to Athens and run the Marathon where it all started. I want to do that in Nick’s memory and carry my flags…and return home”
Memorial Day in the United States is a day set aside to remember and to honor members of the military who have died in America’s wars. There are many Greek-Americans that have sacrificed their lives for America’s freedom throughouth the years and in different wars,
U.S President to Honor the Country’s War Dead
U.S. President Barack Obama plans to honor the country’s war dead by spending the Memorial Day holiday Monday with veterans and their families, as communities across the nation host their own festivities.
The president will visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, as well as Arlington National Cemetery just outside Washington, where soldiers have placed American flags on nearly 260,000 graves.
The first large-scale observance of what was originally called Decoration Day took place at the cemetery in 1868, three years after the bloody Civil War that killed more than 600,000 people.
Mr. Obama said in his weekly address that the holiday is a time for the country to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice and to reaffirm its commitment to care for those who came home.
Many Americans have the day off from work and school, and the long weekend is seen as the unofficial start of the summer vacation season. Celebrations involving picnics or trips to the beach, parks or campgrounds are common.
The weather has affected many holiday plans this year, with thunderstorms cutting short an annual concert on the National Mall Sunday night and a tropical storm making landfall in the southeastern state of Florida.