By Nick Stamatakis

Nothing brings more joy to Helleniscope than seeing our children and grandchildren, born and raised with our faith and values in this beautiful country, succeed in their professional careers and personal lives and become examples of excellence! “Excellence” has become the primary value to be restored and pursued in today’s America, if our country is to return to its roots and become once again the “Shining City On the Hill.”

Steven Popps, the oldest son of Dean and Lise Popps of Mc Lean, Virginia, will soon (June 1st) assume the duties of Chief Deputy Attorney General of the State of Virginia after serving for over two years as a deputy AG for civil litigation under AG Jason Miyares.  Naturally, this will open the road for the promising lawyer for an even more successful legal and political career.  Steven Popps is married and has four children.  He is a member of Sts. Constantine and Helen Cathedral of Richmond, VA. Our sincerest congratulations to the Popps family! Steven makes us all proud!

A few more elements of his biography are of interest: Steven Popps was a litigation partner at an international law firm before joining Attorney General Miyares’s administration to oversee the civil division as a deputy attorney general. He previously served as a law clerk to the Honorable Henry E. Hudson, U.S. District Court Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia, and on the staff of the late U.S. Senator John Warner of Virginia. Steven graduated from the College of William & Mary and the College of William & Mary School of Law, where he was a lead articles editor for the William & Mary Law Review.

Among the cases he successfully handled was an inquiry into the Washington Commanders following allegations of financial improprieties raised by a congressional committee (link here). Even more critical was the Virginia DA office’s opposition to granting felons voting rights, which would have opened the road for the Democrats’ effort to enroll hundreds of thousands of felons in the voting rolls (link here).

We will close this short tribute to Steven Popps with his moving tribute to a close friend and fellow student in William and Mary College, Army 1st Lt. Todd Weaver, who died in Afghanistan… Not one eye was left dry at the end of this speech…

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Tree Dedication November  14, 2010

Remarks by Steven G. Popps,

W&M 2006, J.D. 2010,

in Remembrance of 1LT Todd William Weaver, Wren Building, Great Hall,

November 14, 2010 

Good afternoon. I am honored to be here with the Weaver family, with my fellow speakers, and with all of you gathered today at our beloved W&M for this important dedication. Thank you for being here for my friend, and my classmate, and my hero, Todd Weaver. 

We are all so very grateful to the College and its various components for organizing this event to include the tree planting, the bench, and the plaque in remembrance of Todd. Thank you to the many that have touched this event. I am so proud that W&M has and continues “to do the right thing” by honoring the memory of our Todd Weaver on this historic campus. 

I am Steven Popps, a 2006 graduate of the College and a 2010 graduate of the law school. My proudest credential, however, is that I am Todd Weaver’s friend. 

I will always speak of him in the present tense because he lives in my heart and in my mind. He is right in front of my psyche always. The ancient Greeks said it best, “A man is not dead until he is forgotten”. By today’s events and those events that preceded this one, Todd will never be forgotten. Todd is not dead to me; he is continuing his mission elsewhere. 

Therefore, let us resolve today—at this dedication—to never forget Todd and never forget our nation’s volunteer military and the sacrifices they make for each and everyone of us and for our nation. 

Thank you to the Weaver family, repeatedly, for the courage to again share their grief with us so publicly. It was an honor and privilege and sacred duty, for me and the members of my family, to be with you in September at the Williamsburg Community Chapel and, later in October at Arlington National Cemetery to pray for Todd—and to bury him—with the honor and the glory of a grateful nation—in a manner and place of which he is so supremely worthy. 

Those happy moments that Todd and Emma and I shared just so very few months ago seem shattered for me right now. It hurts so much to know that I will not see my buddy again in our familiar haunts of the Green Leafe and Paul’s Deli, that he and I will not share a middle-of-the-night drive-thru at Dunkin’ Donuts or a good cigar and a long walk through Old Campus and the Sunken Gardens while we so boldly contemplating our futures. 

The Redskin-Cowboy rivalries that we argued about so vigorously will have a much different meaning now, as will the Tailgating and Tribe football and Saturday mornings of hot dogs and hamburgers on my front yard, and of course, the memories of Todd and Emma’s beautiful wedding in the spring of 2008, just a short distance from here. 

It was all so sweet, so innocent, and so young—it seemed like just a moment in time ago—then the harsh reality of war hit us like a freight train in the night. 

A young man who lived on the floor above us when he was a student here said words to the effect that the tree of liberty is sometimes nurtured by the blood of patriots. That tree—we will symbolically dedicate today, that patriot is Todd Weaver, and that student was Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States.

In my darkest moments, I try to remember something my pastor, Father John, taught me: That the opposite of death is not life, the opposite of death is love. 

Today, and everyday that follows, we will love Todd. Therefore for us, Todd is not dead. He is the best of the best and the flower of this great nation. He gave us the ultimate gift of love through his immense and breath-taking sacrifice for our country. He lived in life as he lives now, as my hero

Thank you, Todd. I know you are proud today that we are all here to commemorate your time with us. You are still one of my best pals. 

May your soul reside in the Lord’s holy mansions. May your name be numbered among the Heroic and the Just. And may your memory be eternal. 

Well done, Todd, well done. The mission continues. Farewell, old friend.Amen. 

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Below is a photo of the Weaver Family – Memory Eternal to Todd…

3 COMMENTS

  1. Steve is a chip off the ole block. Wishing Steven much continued success in all of his career endeavors. I am certain your parents couldn’t be more proud! Many blessings to the Popps family!

    • The Greek name is Stavros Papadopoulos. I think this was done in earlier generations – and we all know there was a time when “Greeks were not welcome” in America… Prior to Greeks “Irish were not welcome”.. It’s paert of the immigrant experience and the effort to assimilate in the new land. As you can see from his speech he is a very proud Greek, a church goer and everything else…

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