Upper Darby, PA – The words, “We Will Never Forget” are inscribed just below the Eagle’s head on the Pontian Genocide Monument. It stood tall over the crowd that attended the Genocide Memorial service at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church.

Following the liturgy service inside St. Demetrios, the parishioners led by the Pontian AKritai members dressed in traditional attire gathered outside next door in front of the memorial monument. Led by Fr. George Kouzelis, a ceremony was performed for all in attendance.

“Today we also remember Ionian and Thracian Greeks, as well as, Assyrians and Armenians. These people were all part of the terrible genocide that lasted some ten years”, said Haralambos Vasiliadis, President of the Holy Institution of Panagia Soumela. Vasiliadis spoke about the significance to carry on this annual event, in honor of all those that perished and until the Turkish government acknowledges its past.

Also present, was Dr. Vassilios J. Theodorides, D.V.M., Ph.D., who played the key role in the Philadelphia Greek communities effort to build the Pontian monument. “We must keep the youth involved and present to preserve our culture. The Pontian Akritai have continuously made a great effort to do this. This is our future”, said Theodorides.

The day concluded with a Serra dance performed by the Pontian Club Akritai of Philadelphia.