Friday, April 27, 2012


"Below is the statement issued by President Obama on April 24, 2012, in which he continues to avoid referring to the destruction of the Armenians in Ottoman Turkey in 1915 as “genocide,” employing the Armenian term Medz Yeghern instead." (ARMENIAN WEEKLY)

Today, we commemorate the Meds Yeghern, one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century.  In doing so, we honor the memory of the 1.5 million Armenians who were brutally massacred or marched to their deaths in the waning days of the Ottoman Empire.  As we reflect on the unspeakable suffering that took place 97 years ago, we join millions who do the same across the globe and here in America, where it is solemnly commemorated by our states, institutions, communities, and families.  Through our words and our deeds, it is our obligation to keep the flame of memory of those who perished burning bright and to ensure that such dark chapters of history are never repeated.
I have consistently stated my own view of what occurred in 1915.  My view of that history has not changed.  A full, frank, and just acknowledgement of the facts is in all of our interests.  Moving forward with the future cannot be done without reckoning with the facts of the past.  The United States has done so many times in our own history, and I believe we are stronger for it.  Some individuals have already taken this courageous step forward.  We applaud those Armenians and Turks who have taken this path, and we hope that many more will choose it, with the support of their governments, as well as mine.
Although the lives that were taken can never be returned, the legacy of the Armenian people is one of triumph.  Your faith, courage, and strength have enabled you to survive and prosper, establishing vibrant communities around the world.  Undaunted, you have preserved your patrimony, passing it from generation to generation.  Armenian-Americans have made manifold contributions to the vibrancy of the United States, as well as critical investments in a democratic, peaceful, and prosperous future for Armenia.  The United States is proud of your heritage, and your contributions honor the memory of those who senselessly suffered and died nearly a century ago.
On this solemn day of remembrance, we stand alongside all Armenians in recalling the darkness of the Meds Yeghern and in committing to bringing a brighter future to the people of Armenia.

1 comment:

  1. Marash Girl, I read many of your blog pieces. I enjoy your openness, clarity, and enthusiasm. I was particularly interested in your Armenian cultural attachment. Have you ever considered some elements of parallelism between the Armenian tragedy and the Holocaust. Until recently, I wasn’t even aware of the Turkish slaughter of Armenians. For me, it came to light in the context of Turkish denial of the slaughter. That, of course, is similar to the Holocaust deniers.

    Associating myself, as a Jew, with the Holocaust (and Jews were not the only victims), has forever sensitized me to the horror of genocides and the potential of reoccurrences. Unfortunately, such slaughters have never stopped. Today, in the good ol’ USA, the focus is on getting rid of Hispanics. Being in Arizona, one of the hubs of this racism, I hear stories of individual tragedies: families torn apart because one member is undocumented; students brought here as a child, completing high school at the top of her class, and then unlikely to attend a local college because of a requirement to pay out-of-state tuition. We know that Hispanics have long been encouraged to be here for the benefit of employers wanting inexpensive labor. This has been such a long standing interrelationship that generations have become part of the social fiber of the community, in spite of their undocumented status. Suddenly changing the rules has cruel and bitter flavor. As much as I have loved living here in Arizona, I am ashamed of our legislature and governor; and terribly disappointed in the citizens who voted them into power.