U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer
112 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Statement of U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer
Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide
April 24, 2004
Between the years of 1915 and 1923, a million and a half of
Armenians were brutally murdered as a result of a calculated
plan to eliminate Armenians from the Ottoman Empire. Men,
taken from their families and homes, were separated out and
killed. Women, children and elderly were sent on forced death
marches across the Syrian desert. These actions constituted
the first genocide of the 20th century and one of the most
vicious and tragic events in world history.
One and one-half million Armenian lives were lost, countless
more were persecuted, and the entire Armenian community
suffered. As we reflect on these horrible years, Armenian
Americans know this story and its relevance in history.
Tragically, some question its historical accuracy. To prevent
future genocide is to face the reality that it exists.
Knowledge of past genocides in different parts of our world
assists in arming us to prevent such acts from occurring again.
At the outset of the Jewish Holocaust, Adolph Hitler said that
no one remembered what happened to the Armenian people during
the genocide. He then proceeded to implement his Final
Today, Armenians are continuing to work to rebuild and
strengthen their great nation. After facing years of injustice
and persecution, the Armenian people’s spirit remains strong.
I join you in commemorating the 89th anniversary of the
Armenian genocide. As we remember these sad years, we must
never forget that an act of genocide is not only an act of
hatred toward one particular group, but toward all humankind.
May we learn from the tragedy of the Armenian genocide and
recommit ourselves to full equality, respect, and acceptance
for all people. An important first step is the recognition of
the Armenian Genocide by the United States Government and the
world as a whole.
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