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Rhode Island Senator Raptakis' Greek Pontian Resolution

On May 1st, Rhode Island Senator Leonidas Raptakis introduced and passed the yearly Greek Pontian Genocide Resolution in the State Senate.

Raptakis stated of the Resolution, "The simple fact is that if future genocides are to be prevented, people must never forget the ones that have occurred. Remembering is the least we can do to honor those who lost their lives and to recognize the legacy of those who survived and their descendants".

The full text can be read below:

Proclaiming May 19th, 2004 as "Greek Pontian Genocide Remembrance Day" in the state of Rhode Island.

"WHEREAS, Rhode Island is proud to be the home of numerous ethnic communities, many of whom have prospered and enjoyed the freedom and democracy upon which our nation was founded; tragically, throughout history, the people of many countries have not realized the same autonomy and equality; and

WHEREAS, From 1914 until 1922, in a systematic attempt to exterminate an entire population, the Ottoman Turks directed the killing of 353,000 Pontian and Anatolian Greeks and over a million Armenians and Assyrians living in Pontos, and an equal number who were forced to flee their homeland in one of the most condemnable atrocities in the history of the world; and

WHEREAS, The Ottoman and Kemals Neoturks engaged in exile, starvation, slaughter, and murder, using axes and fire to massacre the Pontic Greek population and perpetrate the first mass genocide of the 20th century; and

WHEREAS, It is vital and proper to remember those who lost their lives in the Pontian Genocide, and it is paramount that people of all nations look at this horrific event in our world's not-so-distant history as a way to learn a valuable lesson, so that such atrocities are not tolerated and are never committed again; and

WHEREAS, It is likewise important to pay tribute to the survivors of this atrocious period, as well as their descendents, who have made countless contributions to the enrichment of our culture and our way of life here in the Ocean State and who stand as an inspiration to oppressed people around the world; now, therefore be it RESOLVED, That this Senate of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations hereby joins the Greek-American community on May 19th of each year in a solemn commemoration of the Pontian Genocide of 1914-1922; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and hereby is authorized and directed to transmit a duly certified copy of this resolution to Mr. Demetrios S. Kosmidis of the Pontian Society of Boston".