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World War victims remembered in Cyprus
2005-11-11 14:02:43

Nicosia, Nov 11 (CNA) - The Cypriot victims and the veterans of the two World Wars have offered their homeland the privilege to be included in the list of the peoples who fought against Fascism and Nazism, President Tassos Papadopoulos has said.

Speaking during a ceremony to mark the memory of the victims of the World Wars, organised by the World War II Veterans' Association, in front of the War Memorial at the Civil Servants Union headquarters in Nicosia, the President also noted that Cyprus did not chose to be indifferent or neutral during that period, on the contrary it has its own important contribution and paid its own big price.

A two-minute silence was observed at the memorial service held for the millions of men, women and children who lost their lives during the two wars.

Noting that this tribute honours and gives recognition to those who fought voluntarily, he added that the 11th of November has been officially declared by the Commonwealth countries as a day of commemoration.

''It reminds us of the great classic value of the principles and ideals, for the prevalence of which many people fought heroically and more than 100 million in both wars have paid with their blood on the battle fields and the ghastly concentration camps,'' he said.

He further noted that some 33,000 Cypriots served in the Cyprus Regiment and the graves of 600 of them are located in 56 military cemeteries in 15 different countries.

In his address, the President of the World War II Association Loizos Demetriou referred to the Cypriot contribution, noting that ''tiny Cyprus was present in this titanic struggle with a significant contribution.''

He expressed satisfaction that the Cyprus state, albeit with some delay, has recognised the contribution of the Cypriot volunteers by adopting a special law.

Present at the ceremony were also 10 Turkish Cypriot veterans, some of which have passed a checkpoint on the demarcation line dividing the island for the first time.

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