Wednesday, April 24, 2013

April 24

Today marks the 98th anniversary of the tragic genocide that occurred in Armenia in which 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks in an attempt to destroy the Armenian race. Our leaders and intellectuals were killed in front of their homes and their families were forced to walk for miles in the desert where women and young children died of thirst and starvation. Others were mercilessly killed.

This day also marks 98 years that the US government has failed to recognize these horrific events as a genocide. So many presidents have promised Armenian voters to solidify this recognition and year after year we continue to wait for them to keep their promises. On this day, I reflect on my experiences visiting Armenia and the emotions I felt seeing the Armenian genocide memorial there. Pain, sadness, anger. The plight these people have endured need to be recognized and accepted, not only by the US and Turkey, but also worldwide. Our struggle is not only on this day, but 365 days a year. We remember and commemorate April 24, 1915 and it will never be forgotten.

"I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia. See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing, and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia."
-William Saroyan

Genocide 1915 Petition for Recognition

Tsitsernakaberd Armenian Genocide Memorial Yerevan, Armenia.

Looking out of the memorial.
Flowers placed around the Eternal Flame on April 24th commemorating the genocide.  

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