Remembering the Armenian genocide

Capital News 9, NY
April 27 2004

Remembering the Armenian genocide
4/26/2004 4:38 PM
By: Edward Muir

Starting in 1915, about 1.5 million Armenians were killed at the
hands of the Turkish Ottoman Empire. It was the first genocide of the
20th century, but not the last. Local Armenian-Americans want to make
sure it’s not forgotten.

Ed Kebabjian of Loudonville said, “Both my grandfathers were killed
by the Ottoman Turks.”

Kebabjian was one of more than 30 local Armenian residents who came
to the steps of the Capitol to remember the 89th anniversary of the
start of the massacre. Almost everyone there had some family
connection to the genocide. Troy Mayor Harry Tutunjian heard
first-hand accounts about it from his grandmother who escaped.

He said, “I heard stories about how they hid under bridges as the
soldiers came in trying to capture them, how her parents were killed
and tortured.”

Congressman John Sweeney is one of just two Armenian-Americans in
Congress. He said the Armenian massacre was a precursor to genocides
later in the 20th century.

Sweeney said, “The Holocaust, Cambodia, Rwanda are all the unwanted
stepchildren of the Turkish massacre of the Armenians.”

And because history repeats itself, people at the commemoration said
it’s important to remember the massacre, no matter what nationality
you are.

Kebabjian said, “It seems as though we never learn, so it’s very
important that we continue to remind Armenians and non-Armenians that
genocide is not to be tolerated.”

It’s a statement that holds true for any century.