Today we mark the 108th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, where we honor the 1.5 million innocent men, women, and children who fell victim at the hands of the Ottoman Empire. The merciless, barbaric, and systematic torture and murder of Armenian scholars, artisans, architects, politicians, physicians, lawyers, and religious leaders, has been widely recognized and globally condemned. Once vibrant and flourishing villages and cities were left in ruins, entire families abandoned, and generations torn apart. The world witnessed the cultural destruction of Armenian lands, the desecration of churches and monuments, and the attempted annihilation of thousands of years of tradition.
To this day, the government of Turkey refuses to acknowledge, nor denounce the atrocities for which their murderous ancestors took pride in committing. The president of Turkey, along with his predecessors, have continuously mocked the memory of those who perished, attempting to rewrite history for their own financial and political gain. For each year that passes, their denial compounds their own guilt, deepens the divide of nations, and further marks a stain on the integrity of human rights.
While April 24 is internationally recognized as a day of mourning for the victims of the past, it is also a day which Armenians throughout the diaspora gather and unite for the common cause for a prosperous future. If we allow the teachings of the past to collectively guide us, then perhaps we may stand a chance to prevail against the risk of letting history repeat itself. Sadly it appears the Turkish government has reclaimed its promise to bring into fruition the genocidal ideologies to the twenty-first century.
Sheltered in the cloak of their denial, the Turkish government has continued to support the Azerbaijani government’s increasing violence and aggression toward Armenians in Armenia and Artsakh. These acts have demonstrated their collective resolve to wipe out the Armenian people and revealed that their claims of commitment to peace are nothing more than a farce.
133 days ago, the Azeri government violated the terms of their agreement pertaining to the Lachin Corridor, which was executed following the 2020 war. This isolated 120,000 ethnic Armenians in Artsakh cutting off their access to food, power, and medical treatment and other essential supplies. This blockade has escalated the humanitarian disaster that was left over from the 44 Day War in 2020. It has resulted in the ethnic cleansing of more than 30,000 Armenians from their homes in Shushi, Hadrut, and Shahumyan following Azerbaijan’s occupation of those indigenous Armenian regions of Artsakh. This is but another addition to the long lists of human right violations and documented war crimes perpetrated by the Azeri government against Armenians. Azerbaijan continues its ongoing imprisonment of Armenian POWs and other detainees, and engaging in unconscionable extrajudicial execution of Armenians.
Therefore, while we take a moment to grieve in the memory of those who died at the hands of such evil more than 108 years ago today, we must remind ourselves that evil continues to live amongst us today. We must stand united against the persecution, oppression, and victimization of an entire ethnicity, nationality, and culture; for not only the right to live in peace, but rather the right to live.
As a grassroots organization, ACA is dedicated to working with all political leaders, offering Armenian related news, analysis and resources for policymakers, media, students and activists, advocating issues important to Armenian Americans. The ACA also aims to strengthen U.S. – Armenia and U.S. – Artsakh ties, the development of programs promoting sustainable economic growth and good governance in Armenia, while promoting the values and responsibilities of global citizenship.