Τρίτη, 26 Μαΐου 2009

THE 90TH ANNIVERSARY OF PONTIAN GENOCIDE COMMEMORATED IN PUBLIC NEW YORK EVENT: SECOND YEAR IN A ROW PONTIAN FLAG FLIES OVER MANHATTAN

May 19th, the international day of remembrance for the Pontian Genocide, was marked for the second year in a row with a public commemoration in Bowling Green Park in downtown Manhattan. Pontian Hellenes, Hellenes from Hellas and Cyprus, Greek and Greek-Cypriot dignitaries, local American elected officials, and philhellenes travelled to Bowling Green Park at 12 noon to stand in commemoration of the raising of the Hellenic flag, and the historic single headed eagle flag of Pontos, seen waving today at half mast, beneath the official flag of Greece, over the streets of downtown Manhattan in New York City.The 90TH ANNIVERSARY OF PONTIAN GENOCIDE event was organized by the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater NY, and the Pan-Pontian Federation of USA and Canada. Distinguished speakers included The Honorable Leonidas P. Raptakis State Senator of Rhode Island , Dr. Mary Marangos Executive Director representing the Honorable US Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, The Honorable Mrs. Aghi Balta Consul General - New York for the Republic of Greece, The Honorable Mr. Andreas Panayiotou Consul General for the Republic of Cyprus- New York, Mr. Demetrius Kalamaras, Esq. – President of the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York, Mr. Elias Tsekerides – President of the International Confederation of Pontian Hellenes, Mr. George Tsilfidis - Deputy President Pan-Pontian Federation of USA and Canada, Mr. Tassos Efstratiades Esq. – Chairman Greek American Chamber of Commerce, Ms. Karine Birazian - Eastern Region Executive Director Armenian National Committee of America, and Mr. Ioannis Fidanakis – President of Pan-Thracian Union of America “Orpheus”. (Speeches can be viewed on You Tube below)Many Hellenic society presidents and members attended, including the two local Pontian associations "Komninoi" of New York in Astoria and "Pontos" of Norwalk Connecticut, as well as "Holy Institution Panagia Soumela." A prayer was said aloud, followed by a speech by Reverend Father John Romas from the nearby historic St. Nicholas church that was destroyed on 9/11, and a moment of silence for the innocent victims of the Pontian Genocide perpetrated by Turkey.Pan-Pontian Federation General Secretary Dimitris Molohides, presided over the ceremonies and presented a proclamation from New York State Senator George Onarato and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (See PDF copies below)Turkey continues to deny responsibility for the Armenian, Assyrian, and Pontian ,Thracian and Anatolian Greek Genocides as perpetrated by its founder Mustafa Kemal, the so-called “Ataturk” or “father of the Turks” and his predecessors , the Young Turk government, and Ottoman Turkey.This year’s commemoration was filled with promise thanks to the presence of young people , including young children and teenagers, the hope of a new generation that is coming to bloom now , who helped to pass out educational pamphlets and books that included classic memoir “The Great Betrayal” by E.H. Bierstadt, The Pontian Question in the United Nations, by Michalis Charalambidis.Even though the Turks stole our land, and forced us out of Eastern Thrace, Pontos, Smyrna and all Asia Minor and parts of Cyprus (just a generation ago) with fire and bayonet without bread and water to die. Events like these remind us that try as they might, the Turks will never totally destroy us. Anywhere in the world, even faraway New York, if even two of us meet we will build again and we will never forget, never forgive.The flag of the Pontian people is emblazoned with the following Pontian saying,Η Ρωμανία κι’ αν επέρασεν, ανθεί και φέρει κι’ άλλο (Though ΡΩΜΑΝΙΑ has passed, it blooms and brings forth more), this people shall never die.You Tube Video of Pontian Flag Raising:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qt9U1xNumVkYou Tube Video of The Honorable Leonidas P. Raptakis State Senator of Rhode Islandhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbNAXw9B0wcYou Tube Video of Honorable Mr. Andreas Panayiotou Consul General for the Republic of Cyprus- New York,http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQB6X-wG0VoYou Tube Video of Ms. Karine Birazian - Eastern Region Executive Director Armenian National Committee of America http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzMT9hsQEOgYou Tube Video of Mr. Ioannis Fidanakis President of Pan-Thracian Union of America “Orpheus”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1-JlOtMUxEYou Tube Video of Η Ρωμανία κι αν επέρασεν, ανθεί και φέρει κι άλλο (Though ΡΩΜΑΝΙΑ has passed, it blooms and brings forth more), this people shall never die.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7czCSWvzm0PROCLAMATION BY NEW YORK STATE SENATOR ONORATO (PDF)http://hellenicleagueofamericahla.org/yahoo_site_admin/assets/docs/proclamation_senator_geroge_onorato_May_2009.13930207.pdfPROCLAMATION BY CONGRESSWOMAN CAROLYN MALONEY (PDF)http://hellenicleagueofamericahla.org/yahoo_site_admin/assets/docs/proclamation_carolyn_maloney_May_2009.13930256.pdf