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Dedo Vasil's grave

My grandfather and great-grandparents' grave -
The only Macedonian language tombstone in all of Aegean Macedonia

The Greek state allows only Greek writing on tombstones (and everywhere else for that matter) as it claims that Greece is ethnically pure. When Aegean Macedonia was annexed by Greece in 1913, a policy of eradication and assimilation was instituted as Greece tried to wipe out any trace of Macedonia and Macedonians. Macedonian graves were destroyed and the Macedonian inscriptions in Sveti Atanas Church were erased and replaced with Greek writing.

Ethnic Macedonians and other minorities were not allowed to use their mother tongue and were forced to use Greek. My father refused to disrespect my grandfather (Dedo Vasil), a proud Macedonian, and made the brave decision of using Macedonian on his father's tombstone. He also had his grandparents' (my great-grandparents, Dedo Stiljan and Baba Stiljantsa) tombstones re-done in Macedonian because he wanted them remembered the way they lived their lives, as proud Macedonians.