R 253
2021 -- S 0906
Enacted 05/18/2021

S E N A T E   R E S O L U T I O N

Introduced By: Senators Raptakis, Gallo, Euer, Kallman, McCaffrey, DiPalma, Miller, Goodwin, Cano, and F Lombardi

Date Introduced: May 18, 2021

     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 the Armenian Genocide was conceived and carried out by
the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923, and resulted in the deportation of nearly 2,000,000
Armenians, of whom 1,500,000 men, women, and children were killed, and the remaining
500,000 survived but were expelled from their homes; 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 descendants, 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; and
     WHEREAS, The year 2021 will be memorialized throughout the world as the symbolic
102nd Anniversary of the Genocide of the Pontian Greeks. May we never forget the brutality the
Pontian Greeks experienced at the hands of the Ottoman Empire, and may we learn the hard
lessons from the past so that the history of the Pontian Genocide, and all Genocides, never happen
again; 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 duly certified copies of this resolution to Gus Tsilfides, President Pan-Pontian Federation
of USA and Canada, and Georgios Gialtouridis of the Pontian Society "Panagia Soumela"