CR: Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide – Rep. Waxman




of california

in the house of representatives

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker, today we commemorate the 89th anniversary
of the Armenian Genocide, a painful chapter in world history when the
international community stood silent as Armenian villages were purged
and systematically destroyed. Between the years of 1915 and 1923,
close to one and half million Armenians were killed while hundreds of
thousands of others were mercilessly deported, exiled, and uprooted
from their homes. Although the atrocities were documented by the
United States and others, the information was never acted upon. Sadly,
even today, the issue remains buried. After 89 years, the victims and
their descendants deserve better. No longer should their suffering go
unnoticed or unmourned. Recognition of the Armenian Genocide is long
overdue. It is time for the United States to make a concerted effort
to overcome the historical denial that genocide took place, and put an
end to the harmful isolation of Armenia that tragically continues. We
must identify ways to facilitate the lifting of the blockade against
Armenia and encourage a peaceful resolution of the conflict in
Nagorno-Karabagh. We must help Armenia continue to flourish as a
burgeoning democracy, extend Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR)
status to strengthen her economy, and stand ready to help maintain her
military strength. Let us resolve ourselves to ensure that the coming
year will be one that brings full recognition of the genocide that
took place, and peace to the region and the memory of those who