Armenians find new way to commemerate WW1 slaughter

The Montreal Gazette
March 29 2004

Armenians find new way to commemerate WW1 slaughter

A life-affirming quality is at the heart of this year’s commemoration
in Montreal of the mass killings of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire
during World War I.

For the first time in Canada, says Deacon Hagop Arslanian, the accent
will be on helping others in need through a blood drive, and
collections of food and toys.

“These events are all new in concept for the Armenian community in
Canada,”Arslanian, assistant to the spiritual leader of the Armenian
Holy Apostolic Church in Outremont, said Monday.

“We said to ourselves, `we lost our forefathers, now we give blood to
the others, we assist the others.

“It’s a way of being with our forefathers.”

These acts of giving are also planned in an ecumenical spirit,
underlining the humanitarian and spiritual nature of this year’s 89th

Successive Turkish governments have refused to accept the term
“genocide” for the fate of up to 1.5 million Armenians during World
War I.

At that time, fearing Armenian nationalist activity, the
disintegrating Ottoman Empire organized mass deportations of
Armenians from its eastern regions.

Men, women and children were sent into the desert to starve, herded
into barns and churches that were set afire, tortured to death or

The Gazette is following this story. Please read Tuesday’s paper for
more details.