Many of the early Christians traveled to Asia Minor and settled in various places as a result of fleeing persecution in Jerusalem. Asia Minor saw the ups and downs of Christianity until the Ottoman Empires. During the persecution of Christians in Asia Minor during World War I, the Greco-Turkish War, and the Genocide of Orthodox Christians in the early part of the 20th Century. The majority of these Christian refugees that survived, fled to surrounding nations.
William Planes is the first generation of one family who became refugees, part of which managed to flee Asia Minor eventually settled in Crete with one member of his family, his father, having fled to Greece with his family, managed to immigrate to the United States.. Panagiotis Plantatnides (Planes) arrived in the United States January 1923. In January 1942 his son, William Planes, was born in New York City.
The Greek Orthodox Cristian Faith was one thing that the father retained during the 1922 genocide of Greek Christians in Asia Minor. His family instilled in him many values, one of which is his Greek Christian Orthodox Faith. He graduated from Coral Gables High School and after two years attending the University of Miami, he completed his education at Florida State University. While he attended Florida State University he joined the U S Marine Corp Reserves. When going to active military duty, he transferred to the US Navy.
After several years practicing as a CPA, he left public practice and started a firm that specialized buying struggling businesses, reorganizing them, and then reselling them. He utilized the gains from these investments into philanthropic work related to his Faith and Christian views. Planes received the St. Paul Gold Medal (along with many other awards), is a member of Leadership 100, and in October 2005 was elevated to Archon Notarios by the Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church; all in recognition of his service, commitment, and work on behalf of the Greek Orthodox Church.
In his book “Platanides: Through the Eye of the Storm,” he explains the difficulties his family encountered while trying to survive in Asia Minor and how their Faith in Christianity gave them the strength to survive. William Planes is worried about the present and future generations since they don’t understand the significance of their freedom or how our parents and other families sacrificed their lives and their blood to protect our freedoms while we were unaware of this. Planes believe that in order to appreciate our freedom and remember the sacrifices made by our parents to secure it, we must have a firm belief in Christianity. If overlooked, we could experience again right here in the United States of America the oppression and genocide that our parents faced and which still exist in other areas of the world.
In response to the book, Planes responded,
“. I felt that what I had learned from my father and what the experience of these people were, our forefathers, are very important to what I had become.”
Planes briefly explained in the book, how his parents’ and other people’s struggled during hard time, like genocide in Asia Minor and the Nazi occupation of Crete in WW II. He emphasized that maintaining strength and a devotion to the Faith can help people succeed in life’s challenges, just as his father did when he was faced and witnessed genocide of Christians for their Faith in Christ.
Planes states in his book how his parents taught him, his brother and sister to have Faith in Christ, “It was a lesson by my father to his children,No matter what you’re confronted with in life if you trust in Christ and you believe without doubt that Christ is with you, you can get through anything. That was what we learned at a very early age and that’s what stuck with me throughout my life.” His parents taught him to have undoubting Faith in Christ, and he has now passed down that Faith to his children and prays that they will teach this to his grandchildren. He wants us to have Faith in Christ, knowing that Christ will never leave us in our struggles.
William Planes is worried about the future because if new generations don’t realize the freedom they enjoy in the United States of America as a result of the many sacrifices made by their parents, they might face the same challenges that our forefathers did. Planes’ emphasis is on the Cristian Faith. To know more about William Planes.