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Public Statements

The Armenian Genocide

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. GARRETT. Mr. Speaker, today, we remember the Armenian people who lost their lives almost a century ago in the Armenian Genocide. In the first genocide of the 20th century, Ottoman officials arrested more than 200 Armenian leaders. Subsequently, 1.5 million Armenians were arrested and forced to march hundreds of miles to the present-day Syrian Desert. Men, women, and children were starved and tortured solely because of their faith and ethnicity.

Yet, there are some today who still choose not to recognize the atrocities that occurred between 1915 and 1923. But we know the truth. We know there were men, women, children, and families who were detained and ordered to march into the desert. We know there were those who were forced to escape their homes in search of safety. And we know there were those who never made it out.

Scripture says before you make comment about the speck in someone else's eye, remove the plank from your eye. Well, we certainly have a plank in our eye from the Administration and from the State Department, who is just refusing to do what is right in this area. So, we must first address and remove that plank in our eye and make the admission in this country and then we can call even more strongly on other countries, specifically Turkey.

We must continue to remember the injustice and acts of hatred that occurred almost a century ago. By doing so, we work to prevent a repetition of atrocities. And by continuing to hold events such as the annual commemoration, we make our voices heard. I can only hope that our acknowledgement and recognition of the crimes against humanity will set an example, paving the way for a peaceful resolution between the Turkey and Armenia. Thank you.

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