A message from Ivan Savvidis
Ivan Savvidis composed a personal message on the occasion of the remembrance of the Pontian Greek Genocide (1916-1923) on May 19. Read it here on paokfc.gr.
Dear brothers, sisters, and compatriots!
Every year on this day we remember the tragedy of the Pontic Greeks – May 19, our hearts ache with pain, and our thoughts and souls are transported to the homeland of our ancestors.
Every year I wonder – are we heading in the right direction? Have we done enough to prevent people from repeating mistakes, such as crimes against the Christian peoples of Asia Minor? Where should our efforts be directed so as not to cut the invisible thread that unites all of us, the descendants of the Pontian Greeks, whom are today scattered throughout the world? And I find the answers in each of every one of us, in our behavior and in our actions …
The Pontian Studies Center was established at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, and so its «Home» is open, something which tells me that we have not allowed this chapter of the history of the Greek people to be forgotten. The series «The Red River» is also being shown these days, which means that the echoes of the Pontian tragedy continue to resonate in the souls of many people around the world.
Premieres of serious documentaries have also taken place, stories shot by our fellow brothers and sisters in Greece, the USA and Australia. Our younger community members have also carried out a series of actions, dedicated to the study of the Pontian catastrophe, and they are working hard to bring the issue to the attention of the UN.
All of this shows that we, the Pontian Greeks, do not give up even in the most difficult moments.
Yes, today, we will not all come together to honor the victims of the Pontic Greek Genocide. We will not march through the streets of our cities, unfurling banners with Pontian flags. But I feel that our people are more united than ever. Social networks are filled with personal stories of families who have experienced the tragedy, memories of the lost homeland, children’s paintings, songs and poems recited by young people, the Pontian lyre sounds through the screens of the television and the Internet. This means that we are alive and kicking, and alive as a people.
On this very sad day for us – a day of contemplation – let us pray for all the unfortunate victims of the Pontic Greek Genocide, for our relatives and friends, for the people who suffered a fate similar to ours. May the Lord rest their souls, and help us to overcome the difficulties and trials that He has sent us.
I am sure that emergency situations first of all unite people, awaken healthy forces in mankind, open new ways of cooperation, interaction, and help.
It is our common duty not to stop our work on this even for one moment, work which aims to inspire our people for further creative activity. And let our ancestors be an example of a resilient spirit and inner strength.
God bless us!
Eternity is the memory of all those who are lost.
With deep appreciation and love,
President of the Federation of Greek Communities of Russia