day of Armenian Genocide held on USU campus
USU students model their T-shirts.
Editor's note: The following story was submitted
by the group leading the Armenian Genocide observance
April 24, 2009 | Armenian students hold the day of
remembrance for the Armenian Genocide on USU campus
today, to revere the memory of the 1.5 million men,
women and children fallen at the hands of the Turkish
government during 1915-1923, and call the nations to
peace and tolerance.
This day Armenian students together with students
from other countries supporting the cause are wearing
T-shirts with the slogan "Recognize the Armenian
Genocide." They will also write the words in the
memory of the genocide victims in their Facebook profiles.
By these peaceful actions, the Armenian students want
to call the representatives of different cultures at
USU to remember one of the biggest crimes against humanity
and civilization, as well as urge the U.S Congress to
pass the Armenian Genocide Resolution aimed to recognize
these historical events.
The Armenian Genocide, as defined by the United Human
Rights Council, was the first genocide of the 20th century.
It occurred when the Young Turk government made an attempt
to establish a mega Turkish Empire comprising of all
Turkic-speaking peoples of the Caucasus and Central
Asia extending to China. The Armenian population became
the main obstacle standing in the way of the realization
of this policy. As a result, an estimated 1.5 million
Christian Armenians living in Turkey were eliminated
from their historic homeland through forced deportations
"Recognition of the fact of the Armenian Genocide
is important not only for Armenians as to establish
historical justice, but for all people in the world,"
says Sergey Ghazaryan, a senior in business administration
at USU. "We must never let such villainy happen
again. By recognizing the fact of the Armenian genocide,
the world leaders contribute to peace and tolerance
among the nations."
The United States took an active part in eliminating
the consequences of the Turkish atrocities. Ninety years
ago, the U.S Congress adopted a historical resolution
to establish the American Near East Relief, through
which the U.S supplied humanitarian support to ease
the suffering of Armenians, Greeks and other Near Eastern
nationals. During the tragic events a lot of Armenian
survivals found shelter in American land. Today the
Armenian community living in the U.S. comprises more
than 1 million people.
Currently 42 of 50 U.S. states including Utah, as
well as more than 20 countries have made individual
proclamations recognizing the fact of Armenian Genocide.
As the Armenian National Committee of America reported,
Barack Obama's home state, Hawaii became the 42nd state
of the United States to recognize the Armenian Genocide,
on April 7 this year.
In his pre-election speech, given on Jan. 19, 2008,
Obama voiced his conviction that "the Armenian
Genocide is not an allegation, a personal opinion, or
a point of view, but rather a widely documented fact
supported by an overwhelming body of historical evidence."
"As a senator, I strongly support passage of the
Armenian Genocide Resolution, and as president I will
recognize the Armenian Genocide," Obama said.
Despite numerous documents, evidence and artifacts
of the Armenian Genocide, Turkey still denies that the
massacres ever took place, and present the million of
deaths as a side-effect of the First World War.
"The grief of the Armenian people is that the
Armenian Genocide issue is used today as an instrument
of political pressure on Turkey, and not duly concerned
by other countries due to many political reasons,"
says Gagik Melikyan, a senior in undeclared business
at USU. He continues, "the Armenian nation does
not feel hatred neither against the Turkish people nor
the Turkish government. But we should remember that
denying is like killing twice. It is enough to remember
Hitler's words which he spoke to his generals before
he authorized them to destroy the Jewish population
of Nazi Germany, 'Who, after all, speaks today of the
annihilation of the Armenians?' We Armenians are convinced
that the new generation of Turkish people is democratic
and brave enough to look back upon the unquestionable
facts of the crimes committed against the Armenians
and bring the strain in the Armenian-Turkish relations
to an end."
Arevik Vardanyan, a sophomore in economics and international
business at USU, states "Armenians hope that the
resolution will be passed by U.S. Congress in the near
future and we strongly believe that it will urge other
countries towards recognition of the historical events
that must not to be forgotten, but accepted as a historical
During the Remembrance Day for the Armenian Genocide,
around 100,000 Armenians come to their historical motherland
from all over the world to take part in the mourning
procession at the Armenian Genocide Memorial and put
flowers around the eternal fire that is located there.
The Armenian Genocide Museum & Institute in Yerevan,
Armenia as well as the Armenian Genocide Museum of America
in Washington, D.C., also open their expositions and
archives to all who want to learn more about the history
of Armenian Genocide.
If you would like to learn more about the Armenian
Genocide, please visit http://www.genocide-museum.am/eng/index.php
and don't let these people be forgotten.