Washington, DC – A proud, time-honored tradition continued Memorial Day Weekend when AHEPA family members withstood a steady rain and unseasonable conditions to pay their respects on behalf of a grateful American Hellenic community to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom, democracy, and liberty at Arlington National Cemetery.

Supreme President George G. Horiates, accompanied by Col. Nicholas P. Vamvakias (USA, Retired), chair of the AHEPA Veterans Committee and past supreme treasurer; and Col. Vasileios Lambropoulos, defense attaché, Embassy of Greece, placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, on behalf of the American Hellenic community, May 30, 2021. An Honor Guard Specialist from the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) assisted them, and a U.S. Army Band Bugler played Taps. Since 1924 Ahepans have returned annually to Arlington (except last year due to the pandemic) to place a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

“This was one of the most unforgettable and remarkably moving experiences of my life,” Supreme President Horiates said. “Today, we honored the sacrifices of those throughout our nation’s history who paid the ultimate price. We expressed in a small yet significant way our community’s gratitude to our nation’s fallen. Around the world, our brave men and women continue to be in harm’s way, and they will always have our unwavering appreciation and support.”

Approximately 600 Gravesites Memorialized

AHEPA family members from the mid-Atlantic Region gathered to memorialize those identified as Greek Americans or Greek Orthodox buried at Arlington National Cemetery, May 29, 2021. According to organizers, approximately 600 gravesites at which AHEPA and Daughters of Penelope members presented a red rose and paused in remembrance of those who perished for our nation. This solemn ceremony has been performed annually since 1949.

“I commend the AHEPA family of the metro Washington, DC area for its carefully detailed effort to honor properly the memory of the brave souls of our community who sacrificed for our freedom,” Supreme President Horiates said. “I appreciated the opportunity to share this memorable experience with them.”