The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) continues its Memorial Day tradition of honoring fallen soldiers on Sunday by marking the death of Greek American Marine Nicholas Xiarhos who was killed in Afghanistan in 2009.
A car at NASCAR race bears the name of Xiarhos, from Yarmouth who was killed when a bomb hit the tank that was carrying him and his fellow US Marines near the town of Gasmir, Afghanistan.
“When they see that car, someone might ask, ‘Who is that kid?’ ” said his father Steven Xiarhos, who retired last December after a 40-year-career in law enforcement.
“Maybe they’ll hear the story, and maybe they’ll receive some kind of strength, which we all need right now. Especially during [the coronavirus] crisis, Nick would have been the first person in line to help people.”
Nick, a strong giant with a pure heart, died on July 23rd, 2009, together with two other soldiers.
Xiarhos enlisted in the US armed forces nine days after graduating from Dennis-Yarmouth High School. He volunteered for a tour in Afghanistan after serving in the Iraq War, and in July of 2009, while leading his squad into a combat zone in response to a distress signal from Marines, the 21-year-old corporal was killed in action.
Since then his family and Nick’s proud Golden Star father, have had their lives drastically changed but have always stayed strong to tell Nick’s story.