Each year, on May 19 – the Memorial Day for the victims of the Genocide of the Greeks of Pontos in Asia Minor – Greeks worldwide hold rallies.
This is a tragic date in the history of our people. Over a quarter of a million Greeks of Pontos were the victims of a horrific genocide in 1916-1923 launched by the Young Turks. Our ancestors, peace-loving, Orthodox Christians who lived their lives, loved and raised their children and cultivated the Holy, for us, land of Pontos, were brutally exterminated.
The genocide is not just the extermination of a specific people with its own tradition and faith. It is the idea irrational individuals have of the future and evolution of culture in general. Hundreds of thousands of dead, hundreds of thousands of destroyed lives of their relatives, hundreds of thousands of unborn children…
Today, we mourn all those who lost their lives in a tragic way during those terrible, for the Pontian Greeks, years. Even though many years have passed since then those sad events, the wounds they have inflicted on our people, still hurt. That’s why memory is sacred.
Thinking of those tragic events, let’s honor with a moment of silence all the innocent victims…We, the Greeks of today, should do everything to have the genocide of our people recognized by the Turkish government and the international community.
Today, the entire civilized world condemns violence against human beings and the crimes committed against peoples. Recently 20 countries recognized the Armenian Genocide. We, more than anyone else, understand this pain and that’s why we have a strong will to have the historical right restored.
Only strong and united peoples and states are able to defend their rights and meet their objectives. I am absolutely certain that the Greek people united can and should seek the recognition of the genocide so that such tragedies will never be repeated and our children will live in peace and calm.
We bow our heads and pay homage commemorating all the Greeks of Pontos who perished in vain.
May God bless us all.
Regional Coordinator, SAE former USSR countries