Work continues after 109 years – Whittier Daily News

The Pasadena Armenian Genocide Memorial, designed by Catherine Menard, was unveiled at Memorial Park on Saturday, April 18, 2015. One drop falls from the top of the memorial every 21 seconds. During one year, these “tears” represent 1.5 million Armenians killed. Soon, Irvine could have its own Armenian Genocide Memorial in Great Park. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz/Pasadena Star-News)

Every year on April 24, Armenians around the world honor the memory of our 1.5 million martyrs of the Armenian Genocide.

But we also know that the genocide is not over. Continues silently, relentlessly, cunningly.

Scars do not heal. The wounds are still festering and the suffering is real. Today, the trauma, the pain continues. We still feel the void that comes with the loss of entire families. When a loved one disappears, the disappearance lasts forever.

People who don’t know Armenians well think that 8,000 miles and 109 years from the killing fields of western Armenia, it might be easy for us to forget. It would be really easy for us to teach our children only the more pleasant lessons of Armenian history. Others may think it’s natural to spend the day at work, school, enjoying life, just like millions of other ordinary families. But Armenians are not ordinary people. History has given us special tasks.

Along with the painful lessons of 3,000 years of history, we have a national obligation to live each day of our lives in remembrance of the dead. Our every action, our way of life must firmly and unwaveringly declare: Never again shall the Armenian people be subjected to genocide! Never again will we allow men, women, and children to be torn from their homes, schools, and churches, to be slaughtered in deserts, rivers, and empty fields! Never again will we allow Armenians to suffer under oppressors like Turks or Azerbaijanis.

And not only Armenians.

Yes, we may be living in a computerized age of global communication, but the barbarism in today’s headlines seems plucked from man’s darkest past. Watch how they easily round up helpless minorities and kill thousands in their own homelands while the whole world watches, sheds a few tears, sends a few dollars to the UN humanitarian agency, and then changes the channel. Of course, a picture can be worth a thousand words. But what a soothing effect a thousand images of suffering have on us.

The Armenian Genocide in Ottoman Turkey in 1915 should be addressed and justice should be done for the victims, their survivors and the Armenian nation. These are the simple demands of the Armenian people. What can we do today to bring this judgment day closer to reality? First of all, we must be convinced that we cannot trust anyone else to help us fight for justice. No one can do for us what we have to do for ourselves!

The Armenian people cannot rest without a fair and final solution to the 1915 genocide. Unless Turkey accepts its guilty responsibility for the Armenian Genocide, there can be no real peace between the Armenian people and the Turkish government. Until justice is served, the Armenian people cannot trust Turkey as a peaceful neighbor. He will always be a threat to the Republic of Armenia. Outside of Armenia, we depend on 5 million to gain recognition, compensation and the return of the lands where our grandfathers lived, worked and died.

Leave a Comment