CR: Rep Maloney memorializes The Armenian Genocide

[Congressional Record: April 27, 2004 (Extensions)]
[Page E667-E668]
>From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []




of new york

in the house of representatives

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Mrs. MALONEY. Mr. Speaker, as a proud member of the Congressional
Caucus on Armenian Issues, and the representative of a large and
vibrant community of Armenian Americans, I rise today to join my
colleagues in the sad commemoration of the Armenian Genocide.
Today, we continue the crusade to ensure that this tragedy is never
forgotten. This 89th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide is an
emotional time. The loss of life experienced by so many families is
devastating. But, in the face of the systematic slaughter of 1.5
million people, the Armenian community has persevered with a vision of
life and freedom.
Armenian Americans are representative of the resolve, bravery, and
strength of spirit that is so characteristic of Armenians around the
world. That strength carried them through humanity’s worst: Upheaval
from a homeland of 3,000 years, massacre of kin, and deportation to
foreign lands. That same strength gathers Armenians around the world to
make certain that this tragedy is never forgotten.
Without recognition and remembrance, this atrocity remains a threat
to nations around the world. I’ve often quoted philosopher George
Santayana who said: “Those who do not remember the past are condemned
to repeat it.” And to remember, we must first acknowledge what it is–
Tragically, more than 1.5 million Armenians were systematically
murdered at the hands of the Young Turks. More than 500,000 were
deported. It was brutal. It was deliberate. It was an organized
campaign and it lasted more than 8 years. We must make certain that we
Now, we must ensure that the world recognizes that Armenian people
have remembered, and they have survived and thrived.
Out of the crumbling Soviet Union, the Republic of Armenia was born,
and independence was gained. But, independence has not ended the
To this day, the Turkish government denies that genocide of the
Armenian people occurred and denies its own responsibility for the
deaths of 1.5 million people.
In response to this revisionist history, the Republic of France
passed legislation that set the moral standard for the international
community. The French National Assembly unanimously passed a bill that
officially recognizes the massacre of 1.5 million Armenians in Turkey
during and after WWI as genocide.
Several nations have since joined in the belief that history should
beset straight. Canada, Argentina, Belgium, Lebanon, The Vatican,
Uruguay, the European parliament, Russia, Greece, Sweden and France,
have authored declarations or decisions confirming that the genocide
occurred. As a country, we must join these nations in recognition of
this atrocity.

[[Page E668]]

I am proud to join more than 100 of my colleagues in cosponsoring H.
Res. 193, which emphasizes the importance of remembering and learning
from past crimes against humanity. We must demand that the United
States officially acknowledge the forced exile and annihilation of 1.5
million people as genocide.
Denying the horrors of those years merely condones the behavior in
other places as was evidenced in Rwanda, Indonesia, Burundi, Sri Lanka,
Nigeria, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Iraq. Silence may have been the
signal to perpetrators of these atrocities that they could commit
genocide, deny it, and get away with it.
As Americans, the reminder of targeted violence and mass slaughter is
still raw. We lost nearly 3,000 people on September 11. I cannot
imagine the world trying to say that this did not occur. The loss of
1.5 million people is a global tragedy.
A peaceful and stable South Caucasus region is clearly in the U.S.
national interest. Recognizing the genocide must be a strategy for this
goal in an increasingly uncertain region. One of the most important
ways in which we an honor the memory of the Armenian victims of the
past is to help modern Armenia build a secure and prosperous future.
The United States has a unique history of aid to Armenia, being among
the first to recognize that need, and the first to help. I am pleased
with the U.S. involvement in the emphasis of private sector
development, regionally focused programs, people-to-people linkages and
the development of a civil society.
I recently joined many of my colleagues in requesting funding for
Armenia including for Foreign Military Financing, for Economic Support
Funds, and for assistance to Nagorno-Karabakh.
Armenia has made impressive progress in rebuilding a society and a
nation in the face of dramatic obstacles. I will continue to take a
strong stand in support of Armenia’s commitment to democracy, the rule
of law, and a market economy–I am proud to stand with Armenia in doing
so. But there is more to be done. Conflict persists in the Nagorno-
Karabakh region.
Congress has provided funding for confidence building in that region,
and I will continue my support of that funding and the move toward a
brighter future for Armenia. But in building our future, we must not
forget our past. That is why I strongly support the efforts of the
Armenian community in the construction of the Armenian Genocide
Memorial and Museum. Because so many Armenians have spoken of the
destruction, they have made certain that we remember.
Nothing we can do or say will bring those who perished back to life,
but we can imbue their memories with everlasting meaning by teaching
the lessons of the Armenian genocide to the next generation and help
Armenia build its future.


From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS