News-Press Editorial: Tending the flame of genocide's victims

Those tending the flame of those who perished in the Armenian Genocide had a bit of a mixed bag this week. In happy news, Glendale Unified and its teachers' union agreed to make April 24 — the day that commemorates the horror — an official day off.

This agreement makes a lot of sense for all involved. Students of Armenian descent have skipped going to class on that day for years, and as public school funding is significantly based on attendance, making the day a holiday of sorts is an elegant end-around of this problem. The agreement, which lasts for a year, extends the school year by three days, but makes the Thanksgiving Break a full week in addition to making April 24 a non-instructional day.

On the other side of the ledger is Rep. Adam Schiff's (D-Burbank) perennial call for the United States to formally recognize the genocide that took place at the hands of the Ottoman Empire between 1915 and 1918.

This is not to at all denigrate Schiff's attempt, which would provide a small measure of justice for the 1.5 million Armenians massacred at the hands of the Ottoman Empire between 1915 and 1918. Instead, it is to call attention to the strong, almost inevitable, likelihood that the measure will fail, as it has each of the several times Schiff has attempted to get Congress to pass the resolution. 

Little has changed politically, and it seems telling that President Obama — who held a wide-ranging press conference with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip earlier this week — did not even mention the issue.

In situations like this, it seems best to focus on the positive, and we applaud the agreement to make April 24 a day off for Glendale's students and teachers. Perhaps they can use part of the day to lobby our federal officials.

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