In history books or Hollywood movies wars seem to be full of glory and grandeur. But in real life, even for the winners, going back to decency and humanity takes a devastatingly long time. Turkey’s population before WW1 was just over 16 million. 4 years of World War followed by almost 5 years of Independence War cost the new Republic almost 3.5 million lives. As in every natural or man-made disaster, the biggest toll of human tragedy was on the children. Turkey had gained its independence at the cost of 3 out every 4 children becoming an orphan. 23rd April could well be the most significant of Turkish national holidays, not because it is the first and only national holiday dedicated to children, not because it marked the day of a concrete step to democracy for the new Turkey and not because it signifies the termination of the Ottoman Monarchy, but because it is a combination of all of these 3 noteworthy events. Being a soldier and actually fighting wars, rather than sitting behind a desk, is one of the most challenging professions. The command hierarchy is so well defined that for most soldiers it is rather difficult to adapt to the day-to-day lives of the common person. For Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of Modern Turkey, who has been trained and fought as a soldier all his adult life, to try to create a democracy after winning a war, was probably the most unexpected and challenging route to follow. On April 23, 1920 during the War of Independence, the Grand National Assembly held its 1st meeting in Ankara. On this date the foundations of a new, independent, secular, and modern republic was laid, from the ashes of the Ottoman Empire. When leading Turkey through the War of Independence, Ataturk was not just fighting the remains of the Allied Forces, but he was also fighting deep roots of the Ottoman Empire, radically religious groups and selected ethnic minorities that are siding with Allied Forces. Taking the bull by the horns, among the 324 MP’s of the first assembly, Ataturk managed to bring together his friends and supporters as well as people representing groups that were fighting him fiercely. Although the republic was fresh, It was tired of fighting one war after the other and the only chance it has for survival would be in the hands of millions of children. To signify this future and the suffering of the children during the War, Ataturk has dedicated this day to the children of Turkey and named it as “April 23 National Sovereignty and Children’s Day.” The public declaration of children as the future of the new nation was such a well thought idea that in 1979 UNESCO has proclaimed this day as the International Day of the Children. In 1933 Ataturk took this significance one step further and initiated the tradition of accepting children in the Presidential Office, which is still a common practice in Turkey. On this day, the children would physically replace The President, the Cabinet Ministers, governors and state officials while grown up men and women in dark suits stand beside them wearily. Today the number of children in Turkey exceeds the total population when this day was declared as “Children’s Day” almost a century ago and of course there are still countless non adults that suffers in different ways and live in poverty, and of course the 100 year National Assembly does not always operate perfectly, but the bold and unexpected moves made by great men and women back in the day, created the constantly brightening decent system that gives us hope.