On April 6, 2009 The Pan-Thracian Union of America “ORPHEUS” and the Hellenic League of America (HLA) remembered the victims of the Armenian, Assyrian and Hellenic Genocide perpetrated by Turkey. Torrential rain, strong winds and brisk temperatures did not keep community activists from gathering at Ralph J Bunche Park outside the United Nations in New York for the first ever commemoration of Hellenic Genocide in Thrace , Asia Minor and Pontos.
Organizers of the event Ioannis Fidanakis, Fotis Makritoxonis (CHEUNG), Georgia Maratheftis , Paschalis Fidanakis and Giovanni di Napoli provided placards with reproductions of American newspaper accounts of the Hellenic Genocide, poster boards of Genocide perpetrators “ENVER” PASHA and Mustafa Kemal , books such as “The Pontian Question in the United Nations” by Michalis Charalambidis , and the educational pamphlet “The Genocide of Greeks: A Case Study of the Region of Thrace” by Theofanis Malkidis.
Master of ceremonies and Pan Thracian Union of America “ORPHEUS” President , Ioannis Fidanakis addressed the crowd in attendance and urged for decisive action and repeated a call for US President Obama (who was visiting Turkey on that very day) to recognize the Armenian, Assyrian and Hellenic Genocide.
“President Obama you have come to your first test of character, will you prove worthy of being mentioned in the same sentence as Alexander the Great or will you be more the beautiful siren lurking our community towards death? We gather here today to remind President Obama, that while he may be visiting the perpetrators of our Genocide, He must not forget the promises he made to both the Greek and Armenian communities here at home. We urge President Obama to stand firm and not to waiver on his commitment to justice and human rights in the face geopolitics.” Said Fidanakis, in his opening address . A brief video of this historic call outside the UN has been uploaded to You Tube:
Statements from those who could not attend were also read aloud at the Genocide Commemoration, including a letter from William H. Samonides, Ph.D., President, Asia Minor Hellenic American Society (AMHAS). (Read the letter here:
Also present at the event include the president and members of the Hellenic Organization of University Graduates HOUGA, the presidents and members of the two local Pontian associations "Komninoi" of New York and "Pontos" of Norwalk Connecticut and from the "Holy Institution Panagia Soumela."
Speakers included Reverend Father Mesrob Lakissian, pastor of St. Illuminator's Armenian Apostolic Cathedral in New York City, Mr. Dimitris Molohides General Secretary – Pan Pontian Federation of USA and CANADA, Mr. Elias Tsekerides, Past President of Pan-Pontian Federation USA & Canada, Mr. Theoharis Kekis, member of Hellenic Pontian Society Panagia Soumela of Boston, and Mr. Giovanni di Napoli of Nuovo Patria Meridionale (New Southern Homeland)—the transcript of Mr . Napoli’s emotional speech “Thrace is Not Alone” is available here:
Photos of Genocide Commemoration outside the UN on April 6, 2009 for download on homepage:
Dr. Theofanis Malkidis brought the commemoration to a close with a speech in. Theofanis Malkidis is a member of the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS). He is also the author of many scholarly books and articles, including “The Genocide of the Greeks: A Case Study of the Region of Thrace.” ( Available for download at www.ThracianGenocide.org )
Ioannis Fidanakis publicly stated the promise of the organizers to join the April 24th Armenian Genocide Remembrance commemorations and to again organize for next year’s April 6th Hellenic Genocide commemoration, and to pass this tradition on to our children and our children’s children, until justice is served for all victims of the Turkish Crimes of Genocide.
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The Thracian Genocide website and Thracian Genocide affirmation is a cooperative and collective effort by the Pan Thracian Union of America "ORPHEUS", the Hellenic League of America HLA and the works , action and spirit of many Hellenic, Phil Hellene and American scholars and activists.