The Day of Remembrance for the Armenian Genocide is a somber day that
should bring attention to one of humanity's darkest moments.
The Armenian Genocide that began April 24, 1915, and continued for
eight years resulted in the death of 1.5-million Armenians at the hands
of the Turkish Ottoman Empire. Armenians that survived were driven from
the lands they had called home for centuries and were dispersed
throughout the world.
It is an event the U.S. government has refused to fully acknowledge --
apparently buckling to political pressures from modern-day Turkey.
However, history is quite clear on the systematic destruction of the
Armenian people during the eight year span.
Steps have been taken in Glendale and the rest of California to ensure
future generations are educated as to the facts of the genocide. With
direction from the state following a thorough study, California schools,
including those in Glendale, have added the teaching of the genocide to
their curriculum. It will help ensure this genocide doesn't remain
largely ignored, as has been the case in the past.
Education will also help battle the revisionists who discount the
horrific acts. Often those revisionists -- including those whose letters
have appeared on these pages -- have been waging their misinformation
battle on behalf of the Turkish government for decades. However, stories,
history books and even letter writers have shown that the facts of the
Armenian Genocide are beyond debate.
It is important to understand that those perpetuating the myth that
the genocide didn't occur do need to be heard. Those who state the
genocide did not happen need to have their statements refuted and the
light of truth focused on what happened from 1915 to 1923. Until the U.S.
government and other nations of the world that have yet to recognize the
genocide are ready to stand up and properly acknowledge the horrific
truth, attention needs to be paid to the flimsy excuses being used to
justify political expediency.
The Day of Remembrance will be recognized in the Glendale area through
a number of community events, the biggest event culminating at the
Armenian Genocide Memorial in Montebello.
In Glendale today, we have an opportunity to continue the divisive
emotional battle of neighbors against neighbors, or we can take the
opportunity to respect our different cultures and move forward together.
The bitter words and separatism have hurt our community, the time to
respect each other is now.