Hundreds of people gathered in Athens’ Syntagma Square on Wednesday to mark Greek Pontian Genocide Remembrance Day and honour the over 350,000 Greeks who were massacred at the hands of the Ottomans in the early twentieth century.
People watched the changing of the guard in front of the Monument of the Unknown Soldier, as two Evzones dressed in traditional Pontic costume honoured the memory of the genocide victims.
The Parliament building was also lit up on Wednesday night using an image symbolic of the Pontic Greeks to mark remembrance day.
Greek President & Mitsotakis: ‘We honour their memory’
Greece’s President, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, said in a statement on Greek Pontian Remembrance Day that “we honour the memory of the hundreds of thousands of Pontian Greek victims who were exterminated in an inhuman and heinous way a century ago.”
“At the same time, we acknowledge the heroic lives of the Greeks of Pontus who were saved and contributed the most to the recovery and progress of the motherland, and to the economic development and the richness of our cultural identity.”
“Today is a vivid and enduring reminder to the entire international community of the great importance of morality, responsibility and forgiveness for the peaceful co-existence of peoples.”
Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, also tweeted about the important day, saying:
“102 years later we remember, we fight, we rally. Pontian Hellenism does not forget, it moves forward. Their lyre will mourn the uprooting and their musical bow will sing hope. And the day of remembrance of the Genocide will remain important until it turns into a Day of Justice.”
Mitsotakis also visited the Municipality of Kalamaria on Wednesday, where many Pontian Greeks fled to during the genocide and according to the Prime Minister, “they rebuilt it with a lot of effort.”
“We honour their memory by continuing the fight for historical justice,” he wrote.