Grafton, Massachusetts (AINA) -- An Assyrian genocide monument was unveiled today in Grafton, a suburb of Boston. The monument commemorates the Assyrians who were killed in the Turkish genocide of 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%), 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 and designed and crafted by renowned Assyrian artists 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 Strassler Cneter for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University, Marc Mamigonian, 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, Director and cofounder of the Assyrian Genocide Research Center.
The AAAM press release said "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."