CR: Honoring the 89th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide – Meehan

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HONORING THE 89TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE

______

HON. MARTIN T. MEEHAN

of massachusetts

in the house of representatives

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Mr. MEEHAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise to commemorate the 89th anniversary
of the Armenian Genocide, in which 1.5 million Armenian men, women, and
children were brutally massacred by the Ottoman Turk regime. The
Armenian Genocide was one of the darkest tragedies in human history,
one that must never be forgotten.
On April 24, 1915, nearly three hundred Armenian intellectuals and
political leaders were rounded up, deported and executed under the
orders of the Ottoman Turk Regime, marking the beginning of the first
genocide of the 20th century. Later that day, 5,000 more Armenians were
slaughtered in their homes and on the streets. For 5 years, the brutal
regime carried out the systematic destruction of the Armenian people
through forced labor, concentration camps, and death marches, until
millions were dead or exiled.

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As we look back on the bloodshed and atrocities committed against the
Armenian people, we must recognize the event for the genocide that it
was. As Henry Morgenthau, Sr., the former Ambassador to the Ottoman
Empire stated, “I am confident that the whole history of the human
race contains no such horrible episode as this. The great massacres and
persecutions of the past seem almost insignificant when compared to the
sufferings of the Armenian race in 1915.”
To deny this truth is to tarnish the memories of the millions of
Armenians who lost their lives to ethnic cleansing. As a member of the
Congressional Armenian Caucus, I have joined my colleagues in sending a
letter to President Bush urging him to acknowledge the Armenian
Genocide during his April 24th commemoration address. By drawing
attention to the legacy of this genocide, we can strengthen our resolve
to prevent future human tragedies of this kind.
I am proud to represent a large and vibrant Armenian community in the
Fifth Congressional District of Massachusetts. Every year, survivors
and their descendants make public and vivid the hidden details of the
Armenian Genocide as they participate in commemoration ceremonies
across the Merrimack Valley. In my hometown of Lowell, the Armenian-
American Veterans Honor Guard will lead a procession to City Hall for a
flag raising ceremony in recognition of the 89th anniversary of the
genocide. The commemoration offers participants an opportunity to
remind the world of the tragedy that befell Armenians of the Ottoman
Empire.
I am honored to add my voice to those of my colleagues today in
commemorating the Armenian Genocide. We will never forget the truth.

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