"There must be recognition; there must be restitution; there must be reparations for the Armenian genocide."
— Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ)–speaking at the Time Square Rally marking 90th anniversary of the Armenian genocide
NEW YORK–Speaking before a crowd of over eight thousand at an April 24 Times Square rally marking the 90th anniversary of the Armenian genocide–Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NY) and Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) issued powerful calls for international recognition and justice for the Armenian Genocide–reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA). Moving remarks were also offered by Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY)–as well as His Eminence Oshagan Choloyan–Prelate of the Armenian Apostolic Church–Eastern US and His Eminence Khajag Barsamian–Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church–Eastern US.
"Armenian Americans from around the nation welcome the principled remarks of Senator Schumer and Congressman Pallone in support of full US recognition and Turkish acceptance of responsibility for the Armenian Genocide–and–most significantly–a just resolution of this crime that restores to the Armenian nation–to the extent possible–what was so brutally taken during the Genocide and in the years that have followed," said ANCA Chairman Ken Hachikian.
Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairman Frank Pallone–in remarks welcomed by sustained applause–argued forcefully for the recognition of the Armenian genocide and the just resolution of the crime committed against the Armenian nation. The New Jersey Congressman closed his remarks with the following statement:
"I was reading the New York Times that the Turkish envoy said that not only did the Genocide never occur–but he suggested that the reason why Armenia’s want to recognize the Armenian Genocide today–want the Congress and the other countries to be on record–is because they wanted restitution and they wanted reparations. And I say to that ?Yes–we do!’ It is important not only to recognize the genocide but we have to make it clear that those who committed it pay restitution. There has to be reparations because if there is no pain–if there is no consequence of genocide recognition–then that all would be futile. There must be recognition–there must be restitution–there must be reparations for the Armenian Genocide."
In moving remarks to Armenia’s gathered in New York from around the nation–Sen. Schumer stressed: "The persecution of Armenia continues today–in part because we do not recognize that Genocide. There is still a Turkish blockade of Armenia. There are continued desecrations of Armenian buildings and churches in the occupied lands. But what rubs salt in the wounds of those who have suffered is the refusal of the world to recognize their suffering and to recognize that a ?genocide’ occurred. That is the ultimate indignity."
The New York Senator went on to note the importance of ensuring that the victims of genocide receive justice: "If despots in the dark corners of the world think that they can commit atrocity with out fear of punishment–then they will be encouraged to commit those atrocities. And so I say to all of you–we must prick the conscience of our nation and the world. We must never rest until the Armenian Genocide is recognized."