New Memorial in Brussels Honors Genocide Victims

BRUSSELS–A new memorial honoring the more than 1.5 million victims of the Armenian Genocide at the hands of Ottoman Turks was unveiled Thursday in Brussels’ Exel quarter’s Henri Michaux public plaza.

The memorial which was sponsored and created through the combined efforts of the Belgian-Armenian Community Council and the Exel City Hall is another step forward for the Armenian Cause.

The opening ceremony began with the address of Exel Mayor Tercomes Yves de Yonk D’Aartva. In his speech the official spoke about the millennia-long history of the Armenian people and their contribution to the development of global culture and society.

He also put special emphasis on the unfair and inhumane treatment seen by Armenia’s–and the lack of justice in their case.

D’Artva in closing–reminiscent of John F. Kennedy’s famous Berlin Wall address–said that in front of the newly-unveiled monument he was an Armenian–and finally thanked the Armenian community in their mother tongue.

Speaking on behalf of the Belgian-Armenian Council–Michel Mahmourian noted current Turkish efforts of denying the crimes of their ancestors.

He condemned the human rights abuses currently occurring in the Turkish republic. He rhetorically asked the gathered what the reaction of the international community would if a statue of Adolf Hitler were to be erected in Berlin today.

He called on the Turkish government to end its denial and take the first steps toward reconciling with its past and give to the children and grand children of the Genocide the reparations they have been denied for decades.

Ambassador Vicken Chitechian thanked the Exel government–praising the community for accepting the Genocide monument on its public grounds.

The ceremony ended with prayer officiated by Archbishop Nakashian.

A plaque at the monument dedicates it to the 1.5 million victims of the Armenian Genocide–and its accompanied by a quote from Avetis Aharonian.

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