March 18, 2001

Dear Members of Parliament:
I am 52 years old, my Yiayia told me of her plight in coming to this country from where she lived on the borders of Greece and Turkey. She tells me of how all of the men of her village were working the fields when a Turkish brigade stormed the village forcing all of the women outside of their homes and to line up in the streets. 

My Mother, was only a couple of months old and my Yiayia hid her by burying her in a huge barrel of grain stored in the village barn. She had carefully wrapped my Mother in blankets to protect her from the grain. At the time she had just finished burying my Mother, Turkish soldiers entered the barn and interrogated her as to what she was doing there. While she was being asked questions, another soldier took his sword and inserted it in the grain pile where my Mother had been buried. Only God watched over my Mother, for she never moved, and she never cried out. My Yiayia cried hysterically because of the way the soldiers shoved their swords into the grain, my Yiayia thought the soldiers had killed my Mother. 

The soldiers now forced my Yiayia outside to line up with the rest of the women of the village. The woman had their children and babies with them as they stood in fear. Then the soldiers started grabbing the babies from their Mothers. As guns were pointed at the line of woman to stay still or be killed, the soldiers carrying the babies started to toss the babies in the air as the soldiers tried to catch the babies with their bayonets and swords. 

After killing all of the babies, the soldiers then started swinging their swords like baseball bats and one by one killed all of the children that were standing crying in the streets. The soldiers left, the women were horrified and the only surviving child of this attack was my Mother who had been buried in the grain. 

My Papou was on his way to the village from the USA were he had just finished serving in the US Army during World War One. After arriving in the village, the night had come and so did the Turkish soldiers again, with no weapons to defend themselves with, the only way to survive was to run, as they were running away along with others from the village, they looked back and saw the village in flames. The Turks were burning the village. My Papou led my Yiayia and my Mother to the American Embassy they had nothing but the clothes on their back. My Papou showed the Embassy personnel his US Army discharge papers, and the Embassy sent my Mother and my Grandparents back to Canton, Ohio, USA where they have stayed for the rest of their lives. My Grandparents have been deceased for over thirty years, and my Mother will be celebrating her seventy-ninth birthday this year.

When I read about how Parliament was going to remove genocide from Greece's history, I was infuriated. Would the Hebrew Nation remove it from their history? 

I plead with you to vote against the remission of the sins of the past. I am not asking you to not forgive, because as Christians we are not practicing our faith to not forgive. However, forgiving and forgetting are two different meanings. As Christians, we can forgive, however, we should never forget were we came from.

God Bless All of You,
Peter Geniatakis

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