Legislators Mark Genocide in Senate and House

ANCA's Ken Hachikian flanked by representatives Eshoo (left) and Spiere during last week Capitol Hill comemmoration

Diverse Remarks by Legislators include Calls for Passage of Armenian Genocide Resolution and Disappointment with President Obama’s Failure to Honor his Pledge to Properly Recognize Armenian Genocide

WASHINGTON—Senators and Representatives took to the floors of their respective chambers during the week of April 24th to mark the 97th anniversary of the beginning of the Armenian Genocide and to share with their colleagues the moral imperative to enact legislation condemning this crime against humanity, reported the Armenian National Committee of America.

These remarks were in addition to the annual Capitol Hill commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, held on April 25th, which drew over twenty Members of Congress.

In the Senate, remarks were offered by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Carl Levin (D-MI), and Jack Reed (D-RI). Representatives David Cicilline (D-RI), Jim Costa (D-CA), Jerry Costello (D-IL), Robert Dold (R-IL), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Jesse Jackson Jr (D-IL), Sander Levin (D-MI), Ed Markey (D-MA), James McGovern (D-MA), Laura Richardson (D-CA), John Sarbanes (D-MD), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Frank Wolf (R-VA) offered statements in the House.

Among the more compelling Senate remarks are provided below:

Sen. Jack Reed

Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI): Ninety-seven years ago, on April 24, 1915, the Young Turk leaders of the Ottoman Empire summoned and executed over 200 Armenian community leaders and intellectuals, beginning an 8-year campaign of oppression and massacre. By 1923, nearly 1 1/2 million Armenians were killed, and over a half million survivors were exiled. These atrocities affected the lives of every Armenian living in Asia Minor and, indeed, throughout the world. The survivors of the Armenian genocide, however, persevered due to their unbreakable spirit, their steadfast resolve, and their deep commitment to their faith and their families. They went on to enrich their countries of emigration, including the United States, with their centuries-old customs, their culture, and their innate decency.

Watch Sen. Reed’s remarks.

Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI): Mr. President, this is a week to bear witness. Today, April 24, we mark Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day–the day on which we remind one another of the organized campaign of deportation, expropriation, starvation–and atrocity perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire against its Armenian population, beginning with the detention and eventual execution of hundreds of Armenian community members on April 24, 1915, just as, a few days ago, we marked Holocaust Remembrance Day, bearing witness to the attempt by Nazi Germany to destroy Europe’s Jewish population. Why do we mark these days? Because in recognizing and condemning the horror of these acts, we affirm our own humanity, we ensure that the victims of these atrocities will not be forgotten, and we warn those who believe they can perpetrate similar crimes with impunity that they will not escape the world’s notice. We remind ourselves that we must never again allow such mass assaults against human decency without acting to stop them. And we mark these atrocities because only by acknowledging the violence and inhumanity can we begin the process of reconciling populations who even today are haunted by the damage done decades ago.

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA): Mr. President, I rise today to solemnly recognize the 97th anniversary of the Armenian genocide. In 1948, the General Assembly of the United Nations passed the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide based in part on the horrific crimes perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire against the Armenian people between 1915 1923. Yet, in the 63 years that have passed since the Convention was adopted, successive U.S. administrations have refused to call the deliberate massacre of the Armenians by what it was–a genocide. For many years, I have urged these administrations to right this terrible wrong, and I do so again today, calling on President Obama to acknowledge unequivocally–as he did as a Senator–that the Armenian genocide is a widely documented fact supported by an overwhelming body of historical evidence. […] There is no room for discretion when dealing with unspeakable crimes against humanity; genocide must be called genocide, murder must be called murder. And every day that goes by without the U.S. acknowledgment of what happened to the Armenian people in the early 20th century undermines the United States’ role as a beacon for human rights around the world.

Among the more compelling House remarks are provided below:

Rep. Davic Cicilline

Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI): Madam Speaker, I rise today to remember the 1.5 million Armenian men, women, and children who were massacred under the Ottoman Empire at the beginning of the 20th century. Each year, Armenians throughout the world mark April 24 as Genocide Remembrance Day by honoring those who perished from 1915 to 1923, and I join my friends and colleagues in remembering the victims today. It’s important to raise awareness about the Armenian genocide not only because it is an undeniable chapter in world history, but also because learning more about this horrific tragedy underscores the importance of eliminating intolerance and bigotry wherever it occurs.

Watch Rep. Cicilline’s remarks.

Rep. Jim Costa

Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA): Growing up in Fresno, California, the place William Saroyan, a great American author of Armenian descent, called home, I heard the stories of this tragic time between 1915 and 1923. The sons and daughters of survivors, time and time again, told the stories of their families. The facts are clear. What happened 97 years ago can only be called by one name: genocide–the first genocide of the 20th century. Yet after nearly a century, the House of Representatives and current and past American Presidents have refused to recognize the Armenian genocide as such. We cannot wait for a convenient moment, for it’s not a convenient truth. Man’s inhumanity to mankind never is. Now is the time to pass House Resolution 304 that I am a cosponsor of and formally recognize the Armenian genocide.

Watch Rep. Costa’s remarks on Youtube here: http://youtu.be/6HSGXMNraiM

Rep. Jerry Costello (D-IL) – Mr. Speaker, I stand to commemorate the Armenian Genocide on the 97th anniversary of its occurrence. It is unfortunate, however, that once again I do so without an official recognition on behalf of the American government. As I have said in years past, the undeniable genocidal actions by the Ottoman Empire against its Armenian citizens deserve official recognition from the American government. 1.5 million Armenians were killed, the first genocide of the 20th century. As a member of the House Armenian Issues Caucus, I have cosponsored legislation to affirm the U.S. position on Armenian Genocide and will continue to urge my colleagues in Congress and the Obama administration to support this position. As we mourn the lives of those lost, it is important to recognize the resilience and incredible strides the Armenian people have made in recovering from that unspeakable past. I stand in solidarity with the Armenian people and renew my commitment to pursuing a future of reconciliation and peace.

Rep. Robert Dold

Rep. Robert Dold (R-IL): Madam Speaker, about 97 years ago, the government of the Ottoman Empire killed over 1.5 million people during the Armenian genocide. The Turkish state has never accepted responsibility for the acts of its predecessor government and maintains that the genocide never took place. For the past 90 years, the Armenian people have sought justice, yet the Turkish Government has continued to actively obstruct any attempt to recognize what has happened to the Armenian people. The United States can help bring closure to this longstanding moral issue by recognizing the Armenian genocide.

Watch Rep. Dold’s remarks.

Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA): Mr. Speaker, I rise today to acknowledge and commemorate a solemn occasion of deep personal significance. Today marks 97 years since the infamous episode in which the Ottoman Empire began rounding up and murdering Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople. By 1923, some 1.5 million Armenian women, children and men were dead from a systematic campaign we now know as the Armenian Genocide, or Great Crime. Their lives ended in the most brutal ways imaginable, subjected to death marches, burnings, rape and forced starvation. Some 500,000 Armenians who did survive–my own grandparents among them–were forced into exile. Like others whose families experienced this tragedy first-hand, I did not first learn of the Armenian Genocide in history books. I learned about it from my own Grandmother as she recounted the murders of priests and her flight from the only home she knew. We must be clear: There is no doubt to the fact that the Armenian Genocide took place. There is no credible historian who can dispute it, and there is no evidence that detracts from its horror and magnitude. What’s missing is a moral clarity as penetrating as the facts themselves, and a willingness in this House and in our government to acknowledge the Genocide.

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr (D-IL): Mr. Speaker, the atrocities committed during this period must never be forgotten. We cannot allow events such as these to be swept under the rug or we face the sad outcome of denying ourselves the ability to learn from the mistakes of our past. We must shape a brighter future for the global community. It is an absolute injustice to the Armenian people, as well as the global community, to refer to this atrocity as anything other than what it was: genocide . And the unfortunate truth is that the Armenian people are not the only ethnic group to be subjected to such an experience.

Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI): Ninety-seven years ago, the government of the Ottoman Empire started a ruthless and systematic campaign of genocide against the Armenian people. Beginning with the targeted execution of 300 Armenian leaders, this intentional attempt at extermination ultimately claimed the lives of over 1.5 million people and forcibly exiled another 500,000. And despite these chilling numbers and a clear historical record of fact, there remains a failure to acknowledge this vast human tragedy for what it truly is: genocide. That is why it is essential that we continue to speak out and solemnly commemorate the Armenian Genocide. Accordingly, I am proud to support a resolution this session of Congress that affirms the U.S. record on the Armenian Genocide and honors its victims and survivors. By acknowledging this dark chapter of human history, we help protect against the possible creation of a violent culture of impunity. We cannot allow past acts of evil to be erased from our collective consciousness if we are to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future.

Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA): I am very proud to represent the 7th district of Massachusetts because my district includes the community with the third highest percentage of Armenian-Americans in the Nation. […] Between 1915 and 1923, the Ottoman Empire carried out the deportation of nearly 2 million Armenians from their homes, resulting in the deaths of 1.5 million innocent children, women and men. This must never happen again. In order to prevent future genocides, we must recognize those of the past. For many years the House has had before it a resolution which clearly affirms the United States record on the Armenian Genocide. I have been a strong supporter and vocal cosponsor of this resolution in every Congress, and I remain so today. Almost one-hundred years have passed since the Armenian Genocide, yet the suffering will continue for Armenians and non-Armenians alike as long as the world allows denial to prevail.

Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA): Every year I have been in Congress, I have marked this solemn anniversary remembering the victims of this genocide and the expulsion of tens of thousands of Armenians from their homes and homeland, and honoring the survivors of one of the greatest tragedies of the 20th Century. These survivors and their descendants have helped awaken and teach the world to the horrors of genocide and the necessity of standing up to the forces of denial. This year, however, Mr. Speaker, I come before this House angry and frustrated by the refusal of my own government to recognize and identify the events from 1915 to 1923 as the Armenian Genocide. It doesn’t seem to make a difference if the White House is occupied by a Republican or a Democrat, no one has the political courage to call the Armenian Genocide by name. I am always told that now is not the right time to take such an action. When will be the right time, Mr. Speaker? When the last survivor, the last eye-witness to the genocide has passed away?

Rep. Laura Richardson (D-CA) – Mr. Speaker, the historical record is clear and the Armenian Genocide is a tragic fact. It must be acknowledged and remembered so that it will never be repeated. As a member of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, I know that the refusal of modern-day Turkey to acknowledge one of the worst examples of man’s inhumanity in the 20th Century haunts survivors of the Armenian Genocide, as well as their families. As a Member of Congress from California, which is home to more Armenian-Americans than any other state, I believe this is not only an affront to the memory of the victims and to their descendants, but it does a disservice to the United States as it seeks to stand up for the victims of violence today. The issue of recognizing the Armenian genocide and helping the Armenian people is neither a partisan nor geopolitical issue. Rather, it is a question of giving the Armenian people the justice they deserve. In doing so, we affirm the dignity of humankind everywhere.

Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD): When faced with the deeply compelling research and scholarship surrounding the Armenian genocide, it is wholly untenable to assert that the genocide did not occur. Instead, many in Congress offer the protest that recognition would harm our relationship with Turkey and undermine our broader geostrategic interests. Others suggest weakly that it is just not the right time to push the issue of recognition. The result is the same–the continued failure on the part of the United States to do the right thing. This failure puts salt on the wounds of the Armenian people. But it does more than that. It corrodes the moral standing of our Nation as a whole.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD): Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commemorate the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. It was 97 years ago today that over 1.5 million men, women, and children, almost 75 percent of the pre-war Armenian population, were brutally exterminated by the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman authorities arrested and later murdered over 250 Armenian political, intellectual, and religious leaders in Istanbul, beginning a horrific and systematic campaign to wipe a 3,000 year-old community from the face of the earth. […] And yet, despite clear evidence that genocide occurred, many officials today refuse to even to use the word genocide when referring to this incident. By equivocating, they not only dishonor the victims of this atrocity and their descendents, they increase the chance that other crimes against humanity are met with similar equivocation.

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA): Mr. Speaker, today, we gather to remember the genocide against the Armenian people. Although the generation that experienced these atrocities has passed, their suffering has been prolonged by the continued efforts to silence their cries and deny that a genocide occurred. When words can help bring comfort to those who suffer, silence isolates and inflicts pain. When time marches forward and history becomes more distant, silence erodes the memory of those who were lost. When affirmation and recognition could prevent such a tragedy from being repeated, silence allows the perpetrators of genocide to assume their actions will meet neither obstacle nor objection. Thus, the ongoing efforts of the Turkish leadership to silence discussion of the Armenian genocide inflict yet another cruelty. […] Today, we will not be silent.

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA): This year’s observance of the anniversary of the Armenian genocide is especially meaningful. In December 2011, the House of Representatives adopted H. Res 306, which I was pleased to cosponsor. The resolution calls on the Secretary of State to urge Turkey to end religious discrimination and return all Christian places of worship and religious artifacts to their rightful owners. Thousands of these sacred sites and artifacts were confiscated by the Ottoman Empire during and after the Armenian Genocide.

The complete text of all the Senate and House remarks is provided below.

Statement submitted for the Congressional Record – Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
Mr. President, I rise today to solemnly recognize the 97th anniversary of the Armenian genocide.

In 1948, the General Assembly of the United Nations passed the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide based in part on the horrific crimes perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire against the Armenian people between 1915 1923. Yet, in the 63 years that have passed since the Convention was adopted, successive U.S. administrations have refused to call the deliberate massacre of the Armenians by what it was–a genocide.

For many years, I have urged these administrations to right this terrible wrong, and I do so again today, calling on President Obama to acknowledge unequivocally–as he did as a Senator–that the Armenian genocide is a widely documented fact supported by an overwhelming body of historical evidence.

The Armenian genocide–along with the Holocaust–is one the most studied cases of genocide in history. A number of sovereign nations, ranging from Argentina to France, as well as 43 U.S. States have recognized what happened as genocide. Yet, successive U.S. administrations continue only to refer to the Armenian genocide as annihilation, massacre or murder.

Every day that goes by without full acknowledgment by the United States of these undeniable facts prolongs the pain felt by descendants of the victims and the entire Armenian community.

There is no room for discretion when dealing with unspeakable crimes against humanity; genocide must be called genocide, murder must be called murder. And every day that goes by without the U.S. acknowledgment of what happened to the Armenian people in the early 20th century undermines the United States’ role as a beacon for human rights around the world.

The United States’ credibility is particularly important as we seek to compel international condemnation of and active response to those who are perpetrating extreme violence today–whether it be in individual cases of human rights abuses or in cases of government-driven attacks against citizens protesting for greater freedom and opportunity.

The United States cannot and does not turn a blind eye to atrocities around the globe. In fact, the United States is often the first to speak out in the face of violence and unspeakable suffering. But sadly, our Nation is on the wrong side of history when it comes to the Armenian genocide. It is long past time to do the right thing.

So this April 24, as we pause to remember the victims and to honor the countless contributions Armenian Americans have made to our great country, I hope that the U.S. will finally and firmly stand on the right side of history and officially condemn the crimes of 1915 1923 by their appropriate name–genocide.

Statement submitted for the Congressional Record – Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI)
Mr. President, this is a week to bear witness. Today, April 24, we mark Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day–the day on which we remind one another of the organized campaign of deportation, expropriation, starvation–and atrocity perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire against its Armenian population, beginning with the detention and eventual execution of hundreds of Armenian community members on April 24, 1915, just as, a few days ago, we marked Holocaust Remembrance Day, bearing witness to the attempt by Nazi Germany to destroy Europe’s Jewish population.

Why do we mark these days? Because in recognizing and condemning the horror of these acts, we affirm our own humanity, we ensure that the victims of these atrocities will not be forgotten, and we warn those who believe they can perpetrate similar crimes with impunity that they will not escape the world’s notice. We remind ourselves that we must never again allow such mass assaults against human decency without acting to stop them. And we mark these atrocities because only by acknowledging the violence and inhumanity can we begin the process of reconciling populations who even today are haunted by the damage done decades ago.

The Ottoman campaign against the Armenians resulted in the deaths of over 1.5 million people. Large numbers of Armenians fled their homeland to seek safety elsewhere, including in Michigan and other communities in the United States. Some have sought to deny that these events constituted genocide, but the historical record is clear and undeniable. I ask any who deny the historical reality of the Armenian genocide to read “Giants of the Earth,” the moving memoir of native Detroiter Mitch Kehetian and his search for the fate of beloved family members during the tragedy.

It is important for us to remember that these atrocities were not committed by the Republic of Turkey. I hope that the governments of Turkey and Armenia, encouraged by the good will of the community of nations, can heal the divisions that remain from long-ago events that nonetheless remain painful. We should also remember that Turkey played a valuable role in supporting the international community’s efforts to free Libya from dictatorship and value the role Turkey is playing today in helping to resolve the tragedy unfolding in neighboring Syria.

It is doubly tragic that the Armenian genocide is now seen as the beginning of a decades-long series of mass atrocities. The inability or unwillingness of the international community to come to the aid of the Armenians emboldened others–including Adolph Hitler, who told his commanders on the eve of the invasion of Poland, “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?” And so, he launched the Holocaust, ending the lives of six million Jews simply because they were Jewish.

All people would like to believe that they live in a more enlightened age, one in which we have overcome the inhumanity of the past. And yet our own time is not immune from mass atrocity. Recent events in Libya and Syria, to name just two, remind us that violence, oppression, and disregard for human rights remain with us.

Just as mass atrocity is still with us, so are human courage and the determination to stand against atrocity. When the international community came together to support the people of Libya against the oppressive Libyan regime, we helped accomplish something important and powerful for Libyans, but beyond that, we sent a message to other dictators that they might not escape a response from the international community.

I say “might not” because we still have a long way to go as a world community in confronting murderous dictators. The current regime in Syria is engaged in a campaign of attack and intimidation against its own people. The examples of history make clear the international community’s obligation to speak out and to take action. It is unfortunate that nations in a position to do so, such as China and Russia, have blocked the United Nations from taking stronger steps. The United States and its allies must now seek to implement additional steps to protect innocent civilians and hold the Assad regime in Syria accountable, including the possibility of establishing safe havens along the border with Turkey.

While we mark these historic crimes, it is also important to recognize signs of progress. It is significant that the United States is now taking what promises to be not just a stronger approach to mass atrocities, but a more effective one. A presidential directive signed by President Obama last August states clearly: “Preventing mass atrocities and genocide is a core national security interest and a core moral responsibility of the United States of America.” And yesterday, the President announced that he will implement the recommendations resulting from a comprehensive review of U.S. policy with regard to mass atrocity.

The creation of an Atrocity Prevention Board will ensure that prevention of these human tragedies is a focus of U.S. policy, a national security interest we will pursue, bringing all appropriate elements of American policy and power to bear. Importantly, U.S. policy recognizes that military action is not our only means to prevent mass atrocity, and that every aspect of our international involvement–intelligence, diplomacy, economic and development policy, as well as, when called for, military power–can be called upon.

We cannot prevent the madness that, even in our era, too often leads to unspeakable crimes. But we can remember. We can speak out. And we can act, with the range of instruments at our disposal, to prevent those in the forefront of such madness from acting on their inhuman schemes. May Americans never forget the genocide visited upon the Armenians we remember today. And may our collective memories always remind us of our responsibility to prevent atrocity in our own time.

Statement delivered on the Senate floor by Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI)

Madam President, I am honored to be here today to welcome His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan. Archbishop Choloyan serves as the Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America. He has led the Eastern Prelacy since 1998, and he plays a significant role as the spiritual shepherd for several thousand Armenian Americans from Maine to Florida and west to Texas.

In Rhode Island, we are extremely blessed to have the Archbishop as such a strong spiritual and community leader. We continue to benefit from his wisdom, his compassion, and his generous spirit. It is an honor to have him here today as we not only listen to his moving and thoughtful words, but also as we commemorate the 97th anniversary of the Armenian genocide.

Ninety-seven years ago, on April 24, 1915, the Young Turk leaders of the Ottoman Empire summoned and executed over 200 Armenian community leaders and intellectuals, beginning an 8-year campaign of oppression and massacre. By 1923, nearly 1 1/2 million Armenians were killed, and over a half million survivors were exiled. These atrocities affected the lives of every Armenian living in Asia Minor and, indeed, throughout the world.

The survivors of the Armenian genocide, however, persevered due to their unbreakable spirit, their steadfast resolve, and their deep commitment to their faith and their families. They went on to enrich their countries of emigration, including the United States, with their centuries-old customs, their culture, and their innate decency.

In fact, not only were the Ottomans unable to destroy the Armenian Empire, they strengthened it. And the participation of Armenians worldwide has made this world a much better place. Indeed, my home State is a much better place. That is why today we not only commemorate this grave tragedy but celebrate the traditions, the contributions, and the extraordinary hard work and decency of the Armenian Americans and Armenians throughout the world.

This year I once again join my colleagues in encouraging the United States to officially recognize the Armenian genocide. Denial of this history is not consistent with our country’s sensitivity to human rights and our dedication to the highest and noblest principles that should govern the world. We must continue to educate our young people against this type of hatred and oppression so we can seek to prevent such crimes against humanity in the future. It was indeed an honor to be here to listen to the wise words of the Archbishop, to hear his prayer, his reflection, and to go forth knowing that he is a powerful force in our country for tolerance and decency. I thank him for being here today.

With that, I yield the floor.

Statement delivered on the House floor by Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI)
I rise today to remember the 1.5 million Armenian men, women, and children who were massacred under the Ottoman Empire at the beginning of the 20th century.

Each year, Armenians throughout the world mark April 24 as Genocide Remembrance Day by honoring those who perished from 1915 to 1923, and I join my friends and colleagues in remembering the victims today.

It’s important to raise awareness about the Armenian genocide not only because it is an undeniable chapter in world history, but also because learning more about this horrific tragedy underscores the importance of eliminating intolerance and bigotry wherever it occurs.

Armenian Americans living in my home State of Rhode Island have made significant contributions through their leadership in business, law, academia, government, and the arts.

As a cosponsor of House Resolution 304, I strongly believe that the time has come for the United States Government to recognize this atrocity for what it was–genocide. I join my colleagues today in recognizing the victims of the Armenian genocide.

Statement delivered on the House floor by Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA)
97 years ago, the Ottoman Empire orchestrated a murderous campaign that resulted in the death of 1.5 million Armenian men, women, and children and forced hundreds of thousands into exile.

Growing up in Fresno, California, the place William Saroyan, a great American author of Armenian descent, called home, I heard the stories of this tragic time between 1915 and 1923. The sons and daughters of survivors, time and time again, told the stories of their families.

The facts are clear. What happened 97 years ago can only be called by one name: genocide–the first genocide of the 20th century. Yet after nearly a century, the House of Representatives and current and past American Presidents have refused to recognize the Armenian genocide as such.

We cannot wait for a convenient moment, for it’s not a convenient truth. Man’s inhumanity to mankind never is. Now is the time to pass House Resolution 304 that I am a cosponsor of and formally recognize the Armenian genocide.

Statement submitted for the Congressional Record by Rep. Jerry Costello (D-IL) –
Mr. COSTELLO. Mr. Speaker, I stand to commemorate the Armenian Genocide on the 97th anniversary of its occurrence. It is unfortunate, however, that once again I do so without an official recognition on behalf of the American government.

As I have said in years past, the undeniable genocidal actions by the Ottoman Empire against its Armenian citizens deserve official recognition from the American government. 1.5 million Armenians were killed, the first genocide of the 20th century. As a member of the House Armenian Issues Caucus, I have cosponsored legislation to affirm the U.S. position on Armenian Genocide and will continue to urge my colleagues in Congress and the Obama administration to support this position.

As we mourn the lives of those lost, it is important to recognize the resilience and incredible strides the Armenian people have made in recovering from that unspeakable past. I stand in solidarity with the Armenian people and renew my commitment to pursuing a future of reconciliation and peace.

As a nation we must lead by honoring the memory of those that perished so the Armenian people and the international community can move forward toward a brighter tomorrow. The U.S. has officially recognized other such tragic events and 21 other countries have recognized the Armenian Genocide. I call on my colleagues in Congress and the Obama administration to join me in recognizing the 97th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and urge enactment of H. Res. 304.

Statement delivered on the House floor by Rep. Robert Dold (R-IL)
About 97 years ago, the government of the Ottoman Empire killed over 1.5 million people during the Armenian genocide. The Turkish state has never accepted responsibility for the acts of its predecessor government and maintains that the genocide never took place.

For the past 90 years, the Armenian people have sought justice, yet the Turkish Government has continued to actively obstruct any attempt to recognize what has happened to the Armenian people.

The United States can help bring closure to this longstanding moral issue by recognizing the Armenian genocide. That’s why I’m proud to be a sponsor of House Resolution 304, which would formally recognize this atrocity. To date, 88 Members of this body have joined me in support of the resolution.

I urge all of my other colleagues to support what is a very important resolution.

If we do nothing, the victims of this horrible genocide may be forgotten. We cannot allow that to happen.

Statement submitted for the Congressional Record by Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA)
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to acknowledge and commemorate a solemn occasion of deep personal significance. Today marks 97 years since the infamous episode in which the Ottoman Empire began rounding up and murdering Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople. By 1923, some 1.5 million Armenian women, children and men were dead from a systematic campaign we now know as the Armenian Genocide, or Great Crime. Their lives ended in the most brutal ways imaginable, subjected to death marches, burnings, rape and forced starvation. Some 500,000 Armenians who did survive–my own grandparents among them–were forced into exile.

Like others whose families experienced this tragedy first-hand, I did not first learn of the Armenian Genocide in history books. I learned about it from my own Grandmother as she recounted the murders of priests and her flight from the only home she knew.
We must be clear: There is no doubt to the fact that the Armenian Genocide took place. There is no credible historian who can dispute it, and there is no evidence that detracts from its horror and magnitude. What’s missing is a moral clarity as penetrating as the facts themselves, and a willingness in this House and in our government to acknowledge the Genocide.

The consequences of surrendering the moral high ground on Genocide denial are manifest and tragic. Since 1915, we have witnessed the same tragedy again and again. In 1939, Adolf Hitler is said to have asked, in justifying his awful crimes, “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?” In the Holodomor in Ukraine, the killing fields of Cambodia, the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, the red clay hills of Rwanda, and now, today in Darfur–genocidal crimes continue. We must acknowledge the Armenian genocide for our collective future, for those who suffer around the world today, and to honor the memories of those who died.

Each time this question arises, there are those who demand we once again sweep history under the rug for political convenience, calling what began 97 years ago anything but Genocide. My response is simple. The systematic extermination of an ethnic group is Genocide, and we insult ourselves and degrade our values when we claim otherwise.

I hope we use this solemn occasion to redouble our support for a more honest appraisal of the facts. So much of who I am is informed by my Armenian heritage, including the moral grounding to demand the truth. As we pray today for those who died, let us also work toward an open and just acknowledgement of the Armenian Genocide, the truth, and a strengthened commitment to prevent such atrocities from ever happening again.

Statement submitted for the Congressional Record by Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL)
Mr. Speaker, I rise today in somber recognition of the lives lost through heinous acts of violence against Armenian civilians following World War I. April 24th marked the symbolic recognition of a period in history when over 1 million Armenian people were killed.

Mr. Speaker, the atrocities committed during this period must never be forgotten. We cannot allow events such as these to be swept under the rug or we face the sad outcome of denying ourselves the ability to learn from the mistakes of our past. We must shape a brighter future for the global community. It is an absolute injustice to the Armenian people, as well as the global community, to refer to this atrocity as anything other than what it was: genocide . And the unfortunate truth is that the Armenian people are not the only ethnic group to be subjected to such an experience.

Mr. Speaker, this week we saw Charles Taylor brought to justice for his unspeakable crimes against humanity. After nine years in the International Criminal Court Charles Taylor was found guilty on 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity today, including terror, murder, and rape and conscription of child soldiers. Taylor gave soldiers of the Revolutionary United Front arms in exchange for blood diamonds, giving them means to slaughter approximately 50,000 people in Sierra Leone. Yet, again, this is not an isolated incident in history.

Mr. Speaker: In Nazi Germany and Nazi occupied Europe approximately 6 million Jewish citizens were killed during World War II. In 1975 and through 1979 over 1.5 million were slaughtered by the Khmer Rouge in Vietnam. In the Rwandan Spring/Summer of 1994 over 800,000 Rwandans were killed in a span of about 100 days.

And today, as we speak, civilians are being massacred in the Darfur region of Sudan, with estimates saying over 300,000 have been killed to date.

I believe we have allowed too many heinous crimes against humanity to occur and this must stop. It’s past time that we take a stand against all types of discrimination and expose the wrongs of the past so that we may grow from them. In remembering the victims, the families torn apart, the orphans left behind, and the generations lost, we learn from the past, and ensure a future free of such violence.

I commend President Obama for establishing the Atrocities Prevention Board (APB). Comprised of experts from Universities and government agencies, the APB will assess our current capabilities, while developing new strategies to prevent genocide and mass atrocities. This is the first step of many to ensure a safe future for every human being, regardless of origin, race, culture, language, appearance or any other trait that makes each of us a unique member of the global community.

Statement submitted for the Congressional Record by Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI)
I rise today to join my colleagues in commemorating the 97th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

Ninety-seven years ago, the government of the Ottoman Empire started a ruthless and systematic campaign of genocide against the Armenian people. Beginning with the targeted execution of 300 Armenian leaders, this intentional attempt at extermination ultimately claimed the lives of over 1.5 million people and forcibly exiled another 500,000.

And despite these chilling numbers and a clear historical record of fact, there remains a failure to acknowledge this vast human tragedy for what it truly is: genocide. That is why it is essential that we continue to speak out and solemnly commemorate the Armenian Genocide. Accordingly, I am proud to support a resolution this session of Congress that affirms the U.S. record on the Armenian Genocide and honors its victims and survivors.

By acknowledging this dark chapter of human history, we help protect against the possible creation of a violent culture of impunity. We cannot allow past acts of evil to be erased from our collective consciousness if we are to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future.

In closing, I encourage all my colleagues to take time today to remember and honor the victims and survivors of the Armenian Genocide.

Statement submitted for the Congressional Record by Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA)
Mr. Speaker, parev, pari yegak (Hello, welcome.)

Thank you to the Armenian National Committee of America, the Armenian Assembly, the Armenian Caucus, the Embassy of Armenia, and the Office of Nagorno Karabakh for organizing this very important event.

I would also like to give a special thanks to all of the Armenian Genocide survivors and their families who are here tonight.

I am very proud to represent the 7th district of Massachusetts because my district includes the community with the third highest percentage of Armenian-Americans in the Nation.

We have gathered today to remember and commemorate the Armenian Genocide, one of the darkest chapters of World War I, and the first of many genocides we saw in the 20th century.

Ninety-seven years ago, the Armenian Genocide was initiated when hundreds of Armenian political, religious, and intellectual leaders were arrested in Constantinople and then deported and murdered. Unfortunately, these terrible atrocities that occurred in the capital of the Ottoman Empire only represented the beginning of the suffering inflicted on the Armenian people.

Between 1915 and 1923, the Ottoman Empire carried out the deportation of nearly 2 million Armenians from their homes, resulting in the deaths of 1.5 million innocent children, women and men.

This must never happen again.

In order to prevent future genocides, we must recognize those of the past. For many years the House has had before it a resolution which clearly affirms the United States record on the Armenian Genocide.

I have been a strong supporter and vocal cosponsor of this resolution in every Congress, and I remain so today.

Almost one-hundred years have passed since the Armenian Genocide, yet the suffering will continue for Armenians and non-Armenians alike as long as the world allows denial to prevail.

Already, 43 states and 22 nations have officially recognized the Armenian Genocide, and it is long overdue for the United States to do the same.

Unfortunately, the Republic of Armenia’s challenges continue even after its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

In the face of ongoing blockades from Turkey and Azerbaijan, the United States must provide assistance to Armenia while working to reestablish the Turkish government’s commitment to normalized relations in order to ensure peace and stability in the Caucasus region. I strongly support these efforts.

The Armenian people are true survivors. Despite the reappearing themes of invasions and land loss that the Armenians have dealt with for over 3,000 years, coupled with the loss of between one-half and three-quarters of their population in the early 20th century, the people of Armenia have prevailed.

In fact, I have a wonderful Armenian intern in my office, Victoria Hines. Victoria’s grandmother was born on a train in Moscow during her family’s journey to America after her mother hid her father from the Ottoman Turks, allowing for their escape.

Despite watching their friends and even their own first-born perish in the genocide, the Tutunjian family, along with the rest of the Armenian people, view the stories of their families as reminders of the importance of preserving the fight for recognition.

The journey of the Armenian people continues today, with our shared responsibility to ensure that the Armenian people are able to build their own independent and prosperous future.

I look forward to continuing to work with the Armenian-American community to address the issues facing this longtime friend and important ally of the United States. Together we can build something positive, something hopeful, something good for the future–an Armenia that is respected and honored by its allies and neighbors.

And this cannot come without universal acknowledgement of the horror that was the Armenian Genocide.

Statement submitted for the Congressional Record by Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA)

Mr. Speaker, today marks the 97th Anniversary of the terrible period of atrocities committed against the Armenian people by the leaders of the Ottoman Empire and immediate subsequent Turkish government that is known as the Armenian Genocide.

Every year I have been in Congress, I have marked this solemn anniversary remembering the victims of this genocide and the expulsion of tens of thousands of Armenians from their homes and homeland, and honoring the survivors of one of the greatest tragedies of the 20th Century. These survivors and their descendants have helped awaken and teach the world to the horrors of genocide and the necessity of standing up to the forces of denial.

This year, however, Mr. Speaker, I come before this House angry and frustrated by the refusal of my own government to recognize and identify the events from 1915 to 1923 as the Armenian Genocide. It doesn’t seem to make a difference if the White House is occupied by a Republican or a Democrat, no one has the political courage to call the Armenian Genocide by name. I am always told that now is not the right time to take such an action.

When will be the right time, Mr. Speaker? When the last survivor, the last eye-witness to the genocide has passed away? Every year, when I join the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide in Worcester, Massachusetts, there are fewer and fewer survivors.

I understand the need for careful political consideration of these matters, but we have waited too long as it is.

It is past time to recognize the Armenian Genocide, by name, Mr. Speaker. I call on the President to do so, now, this year, for the sake of the last survivors of this atrocity and in honor of all of those who perished.

Statement submitted for the Congressional Record by Rep. Laura Richardson (D-CA)

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to the victims and survivors of one of the darkest chapters in human history, the Armenian Genocide. Today, April 24, marks the 97th commemoration of the first genocide of the 20th Century where Ottoman Turkish authorities ordered the systematic annihilation of more than 1.5 million Armenians. The Armenian Genocide was carried out from 1915 to 1923 through massacres, deportations, and death marches where hundreds of thousands were herded into the Syrian Desert to die of thirst and starvation. Sadly, to this day this chapter of history has yet to be admitted by the Government of Turkey.

Many international observers, including then Ambassador and later U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau, witnessed the nightmare firsthand and reported detailed accounts of the atrocities to their governments. Respected organizations and eminent scholars and historians agree and recognize the Armenian Genocide, including the Elie Wiesél Foundation for Humanity and the renowned International Association of Genocide Scholars. Their judgments are supported by 53 Nobel laureates who signed an open letter to the Government of Turkey on April 9, 2007. I ask unanimous consent to include in the RECORD a listing of those Nobel laureates.

Mr. Speaker, the historical record is clear and the Armenian Genocide is a tragic fact. It must be acknowledged and remembered so that it will never be repeated.

As a member of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, I know that the refusal of modern-day Turkey to acknowledge one of the worst examples of man’s inhumanity in the 20th Century haunts survivors of the Armenian Genocide, as well as their families. As a Member of Congress from California, which is home to more Armenian-Americans than any other state, I believe this is not only an affront to the memory of the victims and to their descendants, but it does a disservice to the United States as it seeks to stand up for the victims of violence today.

The issue of recognizing the Armenian genocide and helping the Armenian people is neither a partisan nor geopolitical issue. Rather, it is a question of giving the Armenian people the justice they deserve. In doing so, we affirm the dignity of humankind everywhere.

It has been said that “all it takes for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing.” This is one of the reasons I am proud to have joined with so many of my colleagues in cosponsoring the resolution affirming the occurrence of the Armenian genocide throughout my career in Congress. I will continue to do for as long as it takes.

In recognizing the Armenian Genocide we do not seek to persecute any person or state; we seek to build a path that will lead to reconciliation between Armenians and Turks. And in doing so, we will remain true to our nation’s highest aspirations for justice and peace. It was President Lincoln who called upon the “better angels of our nature” when he said in his Second Inaugural Address that all Americans should “do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

Mr. Speaker, the Armenian Genocide has been officially recognized by 42 states. These States have gone on public record rejecting any claim or assertion that denies the occurrence of one of history’s worst crimes against humanity. I believe it is time for us to join these nations in that endeavor by passing H. Res. 304, the “Affirmation of the United States Record on the Armenian Genocide Resolution.”

Mr. Speaker, I ask for a moment of silence in memory of the millions of silenced voices and interrupted lives of those Armenians who perished between 1915 and 1923 in the genocide committed by the Ottoman Empire.

List Of 53 Nobel Laureates Urging The Turkish Government To Acknowledge Armenian Genocide

Peter Agre, Nobel Prize, Chemistry (2003); Sidney Altman, Nobel Prize, Chemistry (1989); Philip W. Anderson, Nobel Prize, Physics (1977); Kenneth J. Arrow, Nobel Prize, Economics (1972); Richard Axel, Nobel Prize, Medicine (2004); Baruj Benacerraf, Nobel Prize, Medicine (1980); Gunter Blobel, Nobel Prize, Medicine (1999); Georges Charpak, Nobel Prize, Physics (1992); Steven Chu, Nobel Prize, Physics (1997); J.M. Coetzee, Nobel Prize, Literature (2003); Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, Nobel Prize, Physics (1997); Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Nobel Prize, Peace (1976); Robert F. Curl, Jr., Nobel Prize, Chemistry (1996); Paul J. Crutzen, Nobel Prize, Chemistry (1995).

Frederik W. de Klerk, Nobel Prize, Peace (1993); Johann Deisenhofer, Nobel Prize, Chemistry (1998); John B. Fenn, Nobel Prize, Chemistry (2002); Val Fitch, Nobel Prize, Physics (1980); Jerome I. Friedman, Nobel Prize, Physics (1990); Donald A. Glaser, Nobel Prize, Physics (1960); Sheldon Glashow, Nobel Prize, Physics (1979); Roy J. Glauber, Nobel Prize, Physics (2005); Clive W.J. Granger, Nobel Prize, Economics (2003); Paul Greengard, Nobel Prize, Medicine (2000); David J. Gross, Nobel Prize, Physics (2004); Roger Guillemin, Nobel Prize, Medicine (1977); Dudley R. Herschbach, Nobel Prize, Chemistry (1986).

Avram Hershko, Nobel Prize, Chemistry (2004); Roald Hoffman, Nobel Prize, Chemistry (1981); Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Prize, Economics (2002); Eric R. Kandel, Nobel Prize, Medicine (2000); Aaron Klug, Nobel Prize, Chemistry (1982); Edwin G. Krebs, Nobel Prize, Medicine (1992); Sir Harold W. Kroto, Nobel Prize, Chemistry (1996); Finn E. Kydland, Nobel Prize, Economics (2004); Leon M. Lederman, Nobel Prize, Physics (1988); Anthony J. Leggett, Nobel Prize, Physics (2003); Rudolph A. Marcus, Nobel Prize, Chemistry (1992); Daniel L. McFadden, Nobel Prize, Economics (2000); Craig C. Mello, Nobel Prize, Medicine (2006).

Robert C. Merton, Nobel Prize, Economics (1997); Marshall W. Nirenberg, Nobel Prize, Medicine (1968); Sir Paul Nurse, Nobel Prize, Medicine (2001); Douglas D. Osheroff, Nobel Prize, Physics (1996); Martin L. Perl, Nobel Prize, Physics (1995); John C. Polanyi, Nobel Prize, Chemistry (1986); Stanley Prusiner, Nobel Prize, Medicine (1997); José Ramos-Horta, Nobel Prize, Peace (1996); Richard J. Roberts, Nobel Prize, Medicine (1993); Wole Soyinka, Nobel Prize, Literature (1986); Elie Wiesel, Nobel Prize, Peace (1986); Betty Williams, Nobel Prize, Peace (1976); Kurt Wu 4thrich, Nobel Prize, Chemistry (2002).

Statement delivered on the House floor by Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD)

Mr. Speaker, the genocide of more than 1 1/2 million Armenians by Ottoman-era Turkish authorities is an undeniable fact of history. In 1915, the Armenian nation which had resided in Anatolia for thousands of years was subjected to an organized barbarity that included death marches, drowning, and executions.

Those who managed to survive these horrors scattered to the four corners of the Earth. Today, survivors of the Armenian genocide and their children and grandchildren bear witness to this massacre. Each year, Armenian Americans, supported by others who readily accept the teachings of history, renew their plea that the United States Government formally recognize the Armenian genocide, and every year that responsibility of recognition remains unfulfilled.

When faced with the deeply compelling research and scholarship surrounding the Armenian genocide, it is wholly untenable to assert that the genocide did not occur. Instead, many in Congress offer the protest that recognition would harm our relationship with Turkey and undermine our broader geostrategic interests. Others suggest weakly that it is just not the right time to push the issue of recognition. The result is the same–the continued failure on the part of the United States to do the right thing. This failure puts salt on the wounds of the Armenian people. But it does more than that. It corrodes the moral standing of our Nation as a whole.

I join those who once again, at this time of annual remembrance, implore my fellow Members of Congress and President Obama to formally recognize the Armenian genocide.

Statement submitted for the Congressional Record by Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commemorate the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

It was 97 years ago today that over 1.5 million men, women, and children, almost 75 percent of the pre-war Armenian population, were brutally exterminated by the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman authorities arrested and later murdered over 250 Armenian political, intellectual, and religious leaders in Istanbul, beginning a horrific and systematic campaign to wipe a 3,000 year-old community from the face of the earth.

Armenian members of the Turkish armed forces were separated from their units and placed into labor battalions, where they were either worked to death or murdered. In Armenian villages throughout Turkey, adult males were singled out for execution, while the remaining women, children, and elderly inhabitants were then forced to march without food or water to the Syrian Desert. En route they were set upon by the Ottoman Security Service’s “Special Organization,” which consisted of released convicts and was created specifically for the purpose of carrying out ethnic cleansing. In the end, of the 2.1 million Armenians residing in Turkey at the start of World War I, only 100,000 would survive to see the end of hostilities.

And yet, despite clear evidence that genocide occurred, many officials today refuse to even to use the word genocide when referring to this incident. By equivocating, they not only dishonor the victims of this atrocity and their descendents, they increase the chance that other crimes against humanity are met with similar equivocation.

Indeed, before sending the “Death’s Head” SS units into Poland with orders to “kill without pity or mercy all men, women and children,” Adolph Hitler is reported to have commented to his generals, “who still talks nowadays of the extermination of the Armenians?”

When we fail to fully acknowledge that genocide was perpetrated against the Armenian people in 1915, it becomes a little easier to do the same today when we see similar atrocities unfold in Bosnia, or Rwanda or Iraq or Sudan.

Last week the world commemorated International Holocaust Remembrance Day as people everywhere gathered to renew our collective pledge to “Never Forget.” Today we gather for a similar purpose as we remember the first genocide of the 20th century. We recall the suffering of the Armenian people 97 years ago and endeavor to ease the pain of their descendants not only out of sympathy for what they have experienced, but to remind ourselves that we must never allow it to happen again.

Statement submitted for the Congressional Record by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA)

Mr. Speaker, today, we gather to remember the genocide against the Armenian people. Although the generation that experienced these atrocities has passed, their suffering has been prolonged by the continued efforts to silence their cries and deny that a genocide occurred.

When words can help bring comfort to those who suffer, silence isolates and inflicts pain. When time marches forward and history becomes more distant, silence erodes the memory of those who were lost. When affirmation and recognition could prevent such a tragedy from being repeated, silence allows the perpetrators of genocide to assume their actions will meet neither obstacle nor objection. Thus, the ongoing efforts of the Turkish leadership to silence discussion of the Armenian genocide inflict yet another cruelty.

We owe it to the victims of the Armenian genocide, the survivors and their descendants to resist such censorship. That is why I am an original cosponsor of H. Res. 304, a resolution to reaffirm the United States historical record on the Armenian genocide and our own government’s bold role protesting the atrocities as they unfolded.

Genocide is not a unique feature of the 20th century, a momentary aberration of human morality. Genocides have continued to occur in the 21st century, and today, we are reminded of our moral obligation to speak out and take action to stop such atrocities and the immense repercussions of our choices.

Today, we will not be silent.

Statement submitted for the Congressional Record by Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) –
Mr. WOLF. Mr. Speaker, Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day occurred earlier this week.

For many years I have cosponsored a resolution, introduced in multiple sessions of Congress, affirming the United States Record on the Armenian genocide .

From 1915 to 1923, over 1,500,000 people were murdered by the Turkish Ottoman Empire because of their Christian faith and Armenian ethnicity. To this day, Turkey continues to deny that the mass murder, rape, forced marches and deportations that occurred actually constituted genocide .

Raphael Lemkin, the Jewish legal scholar who coined the word genocide and tirelessly advocated for international law defining it and preventing it, was driven largely by what happened to the Armenians. He, and others after him, recognized that there is power in accurately describing these events so that future horrors, like the Nazi-perpetuated Holocaust and genocides in Bosnia, Cambodia, Rwanda and Darfur are prevented. Sadly, genocide and crimes against humanity are hardly relegated to the past–even today we see racially and ethnically motivated violence in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains perpetrated by an internationally indicted war criminal–and the world does little.

This year’s observance of the anniversary of the Armenian genocide is especially meaningful. In December 2011, the House of Representatives adopted H. Res 306, which I was pleased to cosponsor. The resolution calls on the Secretary of State to urge Turkey to end religious discrimination and return all Christian places of worship and religious artifacts to their rightful owners. Thousands of these sacred sites and artifacts were confiscated by the Ottoman Empire during and after the Armenian Genocide.

It is important that we take this time to remember the Armenian genocide, even though it occurred nearly a century ago. Only through such acts of remembrance can we hope to prevent future acts of genocide.

Authors

Discussion Policy

Comments are welcomed and encouraged. Though you are fully responsible for the content you post, comments that include profanity, personal attacks or other inappropriate material will not be permitted. Asbarez reserves the right to block users who violate any of our posting standards and policies.

2 Comments

  1. Viken Karapetian said:

    I’m so proud of the work that the ANCA has done. They are our community’s voice and our nation’s backbone. They single-handedly are the reason why Armenia is one of the highest recipients of US Foreign Aid.

    These politicians don’t just become our friends by accident. It is a long process of several years of building relationships.

    In the Summer of 2002, I interned with the ANCA Leo Sarkisian program. We visited with Senators Feinstein, Reed, Boxer, Corzine. A decade later, three of those Senators remain allies in the Senate, and the 4th became a Governor.

    On a side note, it is important to remember that, at one point, Barack Obama recognized the Armenian Genocide, in a discussion with the ANCA. Video doesn’t lie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwR83GZjwdo

    • lilit said:

      It is so true! I am also very proud of ANCA because they aren’t just another grassroots organization, but they are the human rights fighters and importantly they fight for the Armenian-American Community!

*

Top