Here we are at the much-anticipated and much-talked-about 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. The events of this month alone—recognition and reaffirmation of the Armenian Genocide by the Pope, European Parliament, Germany and Austria, as well as the international media’s focus on the issue—validate the aspirations of the Armenian people and our national struggle for justice for the unpunished crime of the Genocide.
Ankara’s continued insistence to deny the Genocide has only made Turkey look more irrational and out of touch in the eyes of the international community and the rhetoric from government officials only cements the reality that more and more it is isolating itself from the rest of the world.
The Obama Administration’s announcement that the president would not use the word “Genocide” to commemorate the Centennial, similarly isolates the United States from the rest of the world and conventional wisdom, which has been echoing our long-standing demands. Obama’s decision certainly is not sending a signal of a leader of the free world, when in the wake of international affirmation, it continues to deny the Genocide. For Armenian-American community leaders to have been summoned to the White House, only to be told that their aspirations were going to be quashed by the very person who continuously echoed words of justice during his campaign is not but reckless disregard for universal truth and justice.
The next time the United States dares to wag its finger at—or withhold assistance from–countries for poor human rights and democratic norms, it should perhaps look at itself in the mirror for having closed its eyes to Turkey’s abominable human rights record, which, first-and-foremost, stems from its official policy of denial of the Armenian Genocide.
Instead of going in the annals of history as a man committed to change and fairness, Obama will be seen as a weak leader whose promises and principles for justice and “doing the right thing” can be manipulated by those whose course of action is anything but just.
But we must move on, since the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide should become that moment that we reaffirm our convictions and should serve as a reminder that our work is far from done.
The international insistence that justice must be served for the crime of the Armenian Genocide, is a critical signal for us—as a nation—to embolden our resolve and pursue our just demands of reparations and restitution for the crime of the Genocide.
Skeptics might say that such demands are unattainable and nothing short of a dream. The same could have been said about the resurgence of an independent Armenia during the Soviet Union, or the fact that a pope would use his pulpit to reaffirm our aspirations and call for justice. For if one does not dream, there will be nothing for which to aspire.
At this juncture, the entire Armenian Nation must be proud of its identity and its will to persevere. From the streets of Yerevan, to Los Angeles to the squares of Istanbul the call for justice is being heard around the world—Justice for the Armenian Cause.
With the canonization of the 1.5 million martyrs of the Genocide by the Armenian Church, let us bow our heads and remember them. More important, however, let us join hands and vow that their martyrdom was not in vain and let each and every Armenian march forward toward a FREE, UNITED and INDEPENDENT ARMENIA.
Every year when we publish our annual April 24 Special Issue, we are humbled by the generosity and support of our sponsors who wholeheartedly answer our calls and support the publication and production of this issue. This year with this Armenian Genocide Centennial Issue we can report that through the generous support of community organizations and members we are publishing the largest special issue—in volume and circulation—in our 107-year history.
We are making a special mention in this issue of a long-time reader, supporter and generous benefactor, Mrs. Tina Carolan. When Mrs. Carolan was told of the scope of our publication and production, she, in the name of the her family and in memory of her beloved brother Walter Kerian, decided to sponsor the entire cost of this publication, for which we are grateful.