Yesterday, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) and Congressman Michael Grimm (NY-11), Co-Chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, welcomed members of the Armenian community to Capitol Hill to commemorate the 99th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. The event included remarks by Members of Congress and community leaders, honoring the bravery of those who perished in and survived the Armenian Genocide and highlighting current efforts to properly reaffirm this crime against humanity.
The event was organized by the Armenian Caucus, with the participation of the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia, the Office of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic and Armenian-American organizations.
"Tonight, we commemorate the 99th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, and remember the lives of the one and a half million Armenians who were needlessly slaughtered by Ottoman Turks between 1915 and 1923. This anniversary, nearly a century later, gives us an opportunity to acknowledge the atrocities committed against the Armenian people for exactly what it was--genocide," said Congressman Pallone. "As we join together to renew our commitment to prevent and end injustices where they exist, Turkey must also come to terms with its own history and prevent a shroud of denial from covering up one of the most horrific tragedies in world history."
"The only way to truly honor the countless victims of the Armenian Genocide and build a world that rejects hatred is to remember and commemorate the sacrifices of these innocents. Our remembrance ensures that we never permit or tolerate such atrocities ever again," said Congressman Grimm. "I hope that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will join me in commemorating those lost in the Armenian Genocide, and thank their descendants and successors for honoring the sacrifice of their forebears through the many labors and ambitions that helped make this great nation what it is today."
The commemoration event also included a keynote speech by Ragip Zarakolu, an arrested journalist, publisher, writer and human rights advocate who has been promoting Armenian Genocide awareness and fighting its denial for decades. Zarakolu, one of the most well-known Turkish free expression intellectuals, was nominated for the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize.