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Cyprus Commemorates War Dead on International Day of Remembrance
2008-11-19 17:38:10

Nicosia, Nov 11 --- Cyprus commemorated today the dead of the two World Wars, including some 600 Cypriots killed during the Second World War out of the 30,000 who served in the British regiment.

Addressing a somber event, organized here by the Cyprus Veterans Association World War II to mark International Day of Remembrance, President Demetris Christofias said that the Day of Remembrance emphasizes that peace, freedom and democracy are values that have been conquered with struggles and that for their protection a continuous struggle is needed against those policies that instigate wars and promote injustice.

The President referred to the outbreak of the two world wars, which cost the lives of millions, after which the UN was founded to preserve peace and cooperation among the nations. Unfortunately, he pointed out, the period of euphoria following the antifascist victory did not last long. The cold war broke out and lasted for 50 years, during which many countries fell victim to military invasions and occupation.

“Our country was also a victim of invasion and occupation. The people of Cyprus massively responded positively to the antifascist call at the time of World War II and defended the freedom of many countries, in the hope it would gain its own freedom afterwards,” he said. In order to gain its freedom, he continued, “Our people had to struggle hard, since the promises given during the Great War unfortunately were not kept in the post-war era.” The President said he was proud of the Cypriot war veterans, “Cypriot antifascists, Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot fighters,” as he described them.

The President of the Association, Mr. Loizos Demetriou said some 60,000 Cypriots from both communities have fought, and 600 of them are buried in 56 military cemeteries in 16 countries in Europe and the Middle East.

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