GRAFTON, Mass. (AINA)—On Sat., Oct. 24, an Assyrian Genocide monument was unveiled in Grafton, a suburb of Boston. The monument commemorates the Assyrians who were killed in the Turkish genocide of the Assyrians, Pontic Greeks, and Armenians between 1915 and 1918. The genocide targeted the Christian subjects of the Ottoman Empire and claimed the lives of 750,000 Assyrians (75 percent of the population), 500,000 Greeks, and 1.5 million Armenians.
The monument was erected on the grounds of Saint Mary’s Assyrian Orthodox Church. It was sponsored by the Assyrian American Association of Massachusetts (AAAM) and designed and crafted by renowned Assyrian artist Ninos Chammo.
There are now 16 Assyrian Genocide monuments worldwide.
The dedication of the monument was attended by the Assyrian community in Boston, one of the oldest Assyrian communities in the United States; Assyrians from nearby states; and representatives from the Armenian and Greek communities.
The keynote speech was presented by U.S. Congressman James McGovern. Speakers also included Dr. Mary Jane Rein, the executive director at the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University, and Marc Mamigonian, the director of academic affairs at the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research.
A brief history of the Assyrian Genocide was presented by Sabri Atman, the director and co-founder of the Assyrian Genocide Research Center.
“In dedicating this monument to the Assyrian Genocide, at the site of an Assyrian church and cultural center, we honor the lives that were lost and the memories of horror that haunted the girls and boys, men and women who witnessed their families tortured, their children sold as slaves, their women raped, and their men murdered, 100 years ago,” read the AAAM press release.