Today marks 102-years since the Armenian genocide. Being of Armenian decent, today is a very sad day for Armenians around the world.
It is a day that we commemorate all the Armenians that lost their lives in the genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire that still doesn’t remain recognized by the Turkish government today, or even by the U.S. government.
For those who don’t know, the genocide happened in 1915 and resulted in the deaths of as many as 1.5 million Armenians — as part of an orchestrated effort by the Ottoman Turkish government. Historians have characterized what happened as a precursor of, and even a model for, genocide campaigns that followed, including the Holocaust.
The LA Times writes, “Turkey has long denied that a genocide took place, arguing that the killings can’t be separated from the historical context of global upheaval during World War I, and that many Turks also were killed. But most historians outside Turkey describe a state-organized campaign of ethnic cleansing that meets the definition of genocide.”
It’s sad growing up and hearing first account stories of what happened to my ancestors. A big reason to which why I am in America has a lot to do with the genocide. My great grandparents were left orphans and taken to Beirut, where they were raised in a orphanage. They later married and created a life there.
I truly believe that in order to prevent other atrocities from occurring, we must recognize the past in order to deter from more genocides happening. We can’t ignore the past and let history repeat itself. I also believe that we must make effort everyday to be good people and be kind to one another, and to especially respect each other’s backgrounds, race and religion.
Today, I will be teaching my daughter to have love towards one another and to not grow up with hate. I will also be watching the movie The Promise, which stars Christian Bale and is about the Armenian genocide.
Today, my heart is heavy, but it is also full of hope and that one day, we can all live in peace and harmony with each other.