Commemoration MPP Aris Babikian
It is my honour to stand with the Greek and Pontian communities to commemorate and remember the trauma of the victims and the survivors of their respective Genocides in the Ottoman Empire. Genocide and crimes against humanity are issues dear to my heart because I am a third generation survivor of the Armenian Genocide and Greek Pontian Genocides.
May 19, marks the remembrance of the Pontian and Greek Genocides of 1916 to 1923, one of the darkest moments in the history of the Hellenic people. A minimum 350,000 Greeks were exterminated by the Ottoman army and para-military units. Other sources, including foreign missionaries, mention 500,000 deaths.
It is essential to call a spade a spade. It is essential to stand up for the truth and bring justice to the victims, their families, and the survivors. It is essential to stop the denial cycle.
We acknowledge the past to bring closure and heal the wounds of the past. Without healing and closure, the victims, individually and collectively, can not emerge from the Trauma and victimization.
We also need to address this thorny issue head-on because we owe it to humanity to learn from the mistakes of the past so that we will not repeat them again.
Therefore, it’s imperative to sensitize future generations and educate them about the scourge of Genocide, respect for our diverse make-up, and to protect the vulnerable in our society.
By doing so we will be able to make the 21 century a better and more human century than the 20 century.