Let Us Be Prudent, Demand Our Rights and Unite Behind Artsakh
At the intersection of the East and the West, there is a tiny land which has been a bone of contention over the centuries for rival superpowers, the ancient land of our forefathers, Armenia, the sacred cradle of civilization and the home to millions of people of the Holy Scriptures; more souls than the current population of our country today. For over a century, a people that have been scattered to the four corners of the earth as a result of a sinister crime perpetrated against mankind by the Ottoman Empire from 1894 to 1923, resulting in the desecration, looting and destruction of our ancient homeland of Western Armenia. Almost two million souls were exterminated not counting the millions that were subjected to physical and psychological torture, injury, disease and hunger; a terror campaign that spawned generations of displaced persons and orphans.
After suffering for over six centuries under the autocratic and inhumane Ottoman regime and being subjected to carnage and massacre, the Armenians experienced the final blow to their collective existence at the close of World War I when this same demonic regime planned and executed a final solution for their “problematic” subject Christian minority which is acknowledged today, by the civilized world, as the Armenian Genocide, the extermination of an entire race. Although the Government of Turkey continues to deny historic truths of 1915 and beyond, we the sons and daughters of Haik, in dispersion worldwide, recognize April 24, 1915 from a spiritual, intellectual and national perspective as the somber day of extermination, the great calamity, the day our ancestors were brutally murdered or died of starvation, the date commencing the survivors’ journey of perpetual exile; the date marking the complete destruction of Western Armenia, the date of the eradication of all national, economic, cultural and social structures of the indigenous people known as Armenians.
On a national level and in current times, the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide of April 24, 1915, has progressed from a day of mourning and grief to a day of demand for justice and restitution, truly a leap in our political savvy. However this date marks the character-abandonment of our martyrs. The victim mentality of valuing death over life has crept through the bloodlines as intergenerational trauma to third and fourth generation offspring since the Genocide. To this day, it incites the gut-wrenching distress of injustice as long as the Turks are not held accountable for their past atrocities. Today, in fact, this corrupt regime aids and abets its puppet Turkic brother Azerbaijan who continues the genocidal attack on Armenians by committing bloodletting war crimes and heinous attacks on the civilian population of Artsakh that has reverberations throughout the world, shaking us to our core. Currently, we are all on pins and needles in fear of the sword over the heads of our brethren in Artsakh, the ominous ghost of a new April 24.
Woe to us, if the government of Armenia and the Diaspora engage in a “patriotic” passivity Vis-à-vis the fate of Artsakh. Or even worse, if we bow our heads in servitude to our enemy Azerbaijan and its bloodthirsty big brother Turkey, the successor of the Ottoman Empire, in fear of their military might.
Woe to us, if at this juncture of forcefully demanding our rights, we lower our guard and refuse to speak of the old and new injustices perpetrated against our people and nation or become silent witnesses to the present evil that befalls our brethren in Artsakh.
Woe to us, if we condone Azerbaijan’s and Turkey’s premeditated criminal master plan to conquer Artsakh and its brave patriots and to issue a death sentence to the nesting place of the eagles, thereby sword-brandishing their impunity toward the human rights, nationality, economic, social and cultural rights of the descendants of the Holy Martyrs of 1915. A sacred cause generations of Armenian patriots have been aggressively pursuing, subjecting themselves to great bodily harm and death in the fatherland as well as in foreign counties.
And finally, woe to us if we fail to hear the blood calls from our unavenged martyrs and don’t have the personal will and faith to join our brethren in the spirit of battle to achieve the much sought after and most powerful national unity that these ominous times demand; an unshakable unity that historically has saved our nation from certain destruction every time the gray storm clouds have darkened the blue skies of our fatherland. Today the situation is no different, as Artsakh and its brave inhabitants are in fear of their lives.
From the depth of our hearts, let us all reverberate the freedom cries of our forefather Haik Nahabed as a resounding and unrelenting call for united action in the lives of all Armenians so the vision of “one nation, one homeland” never fades for the sacred triune Armenia-Artsakh-Diaspora.
Once again it is April 24, let us be prudent, demanding of our rights, united and of the spirit of Artsakh.
Bishop Torkom Donoyan, Prelate
Western United States