You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.
-Mother Jones

Tuesday April 28, 1914
Trinidad, Colorado - Thousands of Miners March to Honor Louis Tikas, Leader of Ludlow

Funeral of Louis Tikas
Our coverage of the funeral and burial of Louis Tikas, Martyr of Ludlow, begins with this report from Sunday's Wichita Daily Eagle:
Trinidad, Colo., ...The funeral of Louis Tikas, leader of the Greek strikers, who was killed in the Ludlow battle of Monday will be held at ten o'clock tomorrow. Several hundred Greeks including a large party from Colorado Springs reached Trinidad today on foot. All were heavily armed. In lieu of cartridge belts strikers had placed their supply of ammunition in flour sacks which they slung across their shoulders. The Greeks stored their fire arms in local union headquarters on their arrival here and have posted guards in front of the building.
We offer this correction: Louis Tikas was accepted as a leader, not only by the Greeks, but by the entire Ludlow Tent Colony. He was well respected for his calm manner and courageous conduct, and is deeply mourned by all.

This morning's Anaconda Standard gave this report of the funeral:


Trinidad, Col, April 27,-While they buried Louis Tikas today, riflemen who last week battled with state troops at Ludlow and wore the red handkerchiefs of the army of Aguilar laid down their guns and held wax tapers while they joined in the solemn chant prescribed by the Greek church for the burial of its dead.

Balkan war veterans, lately emerged from the smoke of gunpowder and of blazing mines breathed the incense fumes from the silver censer which the priest swung over the three black caskets where lay the bullet-pierced bodies of "Louie the Greek," Nick Lonhakes [Loupikas, strikebreaker] and Nick Tomick [Tomich, striker], the last two having fallen in the fighting about Aguilar....

Outside, throngs of strikers not of the Greek nation-Italians, Germans, Mexicans, Russians, Poles, Servians [Serbians], Bulgarians, Lithuanians, Croatians, stood patiently waiting to join the procession to the grave. And on the edge of grave two grim riflemen guarded the new tent colony of the strikers while a few miles north the sharp challenge of sentries in the militia camp gave evidence that the reign of hate and war in the Colorado coal fields was not yet ended.

Funeral of Louis Tikas
And, for Denver Post, Frances Wayne reported:
The body of Tikas lay before an alter on which were branched candles, holding high, burning tapers. The priest, assisted by Pietro Catsulis, now the leader of the Greek colony, intoned the mass, the response being made by Catsulis.

Three times the priest kissed the cheeks of the dead leader. Three times he anointed the brow with wine. Three times he sprinkled dust on the face of the dead, while a Greek in overalls and corduroy coat swung the silver censer and wailed dolefully.

"Jesus give a place in Heaven to Louis, chanted the priest in the Greek tongue.

"Jesus give a place in heaven to Louis. Bring life from the grave," solemnly repeated the dark-faced fighting men who crowded the undertaker's chapel.

"Jesus, if Louis has any enemies, may they forget their hostility," chanted Catsulis.

The tapers burned low. The place was dim with incense. But the priest chanted on, his iron-gray hair and flowing beard in somber contrast with his gold and silver woven robes.

This was the funeral of the man beliked by all he led and served. But a handful of women were present, and no arms were carried to remind those who watched that war was on.

Orderly, reverent, deeply religious, was the service. When the body was carried from the chapel, 488 Greeks followed the line before the hearse. The American colors, draped in crepe, were lifted, and in utter silence the cortege moved down Main Street to Commercial, past the headquarters of the United Mine Workers and on over the hill to the Knights of Pythias cemetery.

Before the funeral four Greeks carrying their muskets entered the chapel. They lifted their hats, muttered an oath to "avenge Louis' death" pounded for times on the floor with their muskets, turned and left the room.


The Wichita Daily Eagle
(Wichita, Kansas)
-of Apr 26, 1914

The Anaconda Standard
(Anaconda, Montana)
-of April 28, 1914

The Ludlow Massacre
-by Walter H. Fink
Williamson-Haffner, Denver, Colorado

Buried Unsung
Louis Tikas and the Ludlow Massacre

-by Zeese Papanikolas
U of Utah Press, 1982

Blood Passion
The Ludlow Massacre and Class War
 in the American West

-by Scott Martelle
Rutgers U Press, 2008

Funeral of Louis Tikas:

For photo of "Little Pete, successor to Louis Tikas as leader of the Greeks"

Palikari ― Louis Tikas and the Ludlow massacre

A Song for Louis Tikas:
This cannot be embed but lyrics and audio are at the link.

Louis Tikas
 -by Frank Manning

Mourn with me, my sisters and my brothers,
For a leader lying silent in the grave,
A man who lived his whole life saving others,
And, in the end, his life is what he gave.
Louis lived his whole life saving others,
And, in the end, his life is what he gave.


Monday April 28, 2014
More on the funeral of Louis Tikas from Zeese Papanikolas:

Funeral of Louis Tikas
This beautiful description of the funeral of Louis Tikas is from Buried Unsung. I am lucky enough to own a signed copy of this book, signed at the Ludlow Monument at the 75th commemoration in 1989. I highly recommend this book, a lovely and heartfelt tribute to labor martyr, Louis Tikas.

The funeral was ending, and:

The priest anointed Louis' forehead and sprinkled a pinch of dust on it and kissed his cheeks. Then the congregation said "Christ is Risen" and the benediction was give. And they went out of the mortuary.

They filed up Main and into Commercial Street in a double line, almost five hundred Greeks following the dusty plumes nodding above the horses pulling the funeral coach, behind them two thousand others, men and women, silently marching. They passed the spires of the Catholic Church, the brewery, the News building. People watched from the windows and the sidewalks as the procession moved by. Some took off their hats for the flag, which was draped in black crepe. At a side street an automobile stood idling. A wagon waited for the procession to pass. In the photographs taken of this day the tranquil smoke of the brewery fades into a sky which is as hard and still as if it had been stretched on a frame.

At Camp San Rafael a couple of dozen men gathered in a ragged line and pulled off their caps as the hearse creaked by. The procession climbed the hill to the Knights of Pythias cemetery and then the marchers stopped and lowered the coffins into the red dirt of the freshly dug graves.

"Open O Earth and receive that which was made from thee," Father Paschopoulos chanted. He took a handful of dust and cast it over the coffins. Then he poured oil from the shrine lamp and scattered the ashes from the censer and the graves were filled up and final hymns were sung.

Now, according to the Greeks, for two days the soul of Louis Tikas would wander over the earth with the Angels sent to accompany it. And since the soul had loved the body, it would hover over the place in which it parted from the flesh. So it haunts the site of the Ludlow camp, wanders like a bird which seeks a nesting place but finds none among those burnt cellars and scorched remains. On the third day the soul is brought to do reverence to God and is shown the fair abodes of the Saints and beauty of Paradise. And after six days, Christ-like, it is taken down to Hell to view the torments of the damned. On the fortieth day it is brought to judgment.

Funeral of Louis Tikas

Greek Orthodox Memorial Service Chant


Originally posted to Hellraisers Journal on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 11:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by WE NEVER FORGET, Shamrock American Kossacks, In Support of Labor and Unions, Anti-Capitalist Chat, and History for Kossacks.

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