CR: Commemorating the Armenian Genocide – Rep. Dooley




of california

in the house of representatives

Monday, April 26, 2004

Mr. DOOLEY of California. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to join my
colleagues in remembrance of the Armenian Genocide.

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This terrible human tragedy must not be forgotten. Like the
Holocaust, the Armenian Genocide stands as a tragic example of the
human suffering that results from hatred and intolerance. The Ottoman
Turkish Empire between 1915 and 1923 massacred one and a half million
Armenian people. More than 500,000 Armenians were exiled from a
homeland that their ancestors had occupied for more than 3,000
years. A race of people was nearly eliminated. It would be an even
greater tragedy to forget that the Armenian Genocide ever happened. To
not recognize the horror of such events almost assures their
repetition in the future. Adolf Hitler, in preparing his genocide
plans for the Jews, predicted that no one would remember the
atrocities he was about to unleash. After all, he asked, “Who
remembers the Armenians?” Our statements today are intended to
preserve the memory of the Armenian loss, and to remind the world that
the Turkish government–to this day–refuses to acknowledge the
Armenian Genocide. The truth of this tragedy can never and should
never be denied. And we must also be mindful of the current suffering
of the Armenian, where the Armenian people are still immersed in
tragedy and violence. The unrest between Armenia and Azerbaijan
continues in Nagorno- Karabakh. Thousands of innocent people have
already perished in this dispute, and many more have been displaced
and are homeless. In the face of this difficult situation we have an
opportunity for reconciliation. Now is the time for Armenia and its
neighbors to come together and work toward building relationships that
will assure lasting peace. Meanwhile, in America, the
Armenian-American community continues to thrive and to provide
assistance and solidarity to its countrymen and women abroad. The
Armenian-American community is bound together by strong generational
and family ties, an enduring work ethic and a proud sense of ethnic
heritage. Today we recall the tragedy of their past, not to replace
blame, but to answer a fundamental question, “Who remembers the
Armenians?” Our commemoration of the Armenian Genocide speaks
directly to that, and I answer, we do.