Statement of President Barack Obama on Armenian Remembrance Day

States News Service, USA
April 24, 2010 Saturday



The following information was released by the White House:

On this solemn day of remembrance, we pause to recall that ninety-five
years ago one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century began. In
that dark moment of history, 1.5 million Armenians were massacred or
marched to their death in the final days of the Ottoman Empire.

Today is a day to reflect upon and draw lessons from these terrible
events. I have consistently stated my own view of what occurred in
1915, and my view of that history has not changed. It is in all of our
interest to see the achievement of a full, frank and just
acknowledgment of the facts. The Meds Yeghern is a devastating chapter
in the history of the Armenian people, and we must keep its memory
alive in honor of those who were murdered and so that we do not repeat
the grave mistakes of the past. I salute the Turks who saved Armenians
in 1915 and am encouraged by the dialogue among Turks and Armenians,
and within Turkey itself, regarding this painful history. Together,
the Turkish and Armenian people will be stronger as they acknowledge
their common history and recognize their common humanity.

Even as we confront the inhumanity of 1915, we also are inspired by
the remarkable spirit of the Armenian people. While nothing can bring
back those who were killed in the Meds Yeghern, the contributions that
Armenians have made around the world over the last ninety-five years
stand as a testament to the strength, tenacity and courage of the
Armenian people. The indomitable spirit of the Armenian people is a
lasting triumph over those who set out to destroy them. Many Armenians
came to the United States as survivors of the horrors of 1915. Over
the generations Americans of Armenian descent have richened our
communities, spurred our economy, and strengthened our democracy. The
strong traditions and culture of Armenians also became the foundation
of a new republic which has become a part of the community of nations,
partnering with the world community to build a better future.

Today, we pause with them and with Armenians everywhere to remember
the awful events of 1915 with deep admiration for their contributions
which transcend this dark past and give us hope for the future.

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