Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Remembering the Armenians
Turkey still will not admit it happened. There is an article today that I'll repost here:
Valencia, Apr. 26, 2006 (CNA) - This week, the Armenian community in Valencia, Spain, commemorated the 91st anniversary of the deaths of 1.5 million Armenian Christians who were killed by Muslim Turks in 1915 during a massive religious persecution.
The commemorations took place April 24th at the Church of St. Monica in Valencia and were organized by the Armenian Apostolic Church and Pro-Commemoration Committee. Among those in attendance, was the Armenian Republic’s Honorary Consul in Spain, Luis Barbera.
Beginning on April 24, 1915, the Ottoman Empire ordered a crackdown on Armenian Christians, which resulted in the deaths of 1.5 million people.
Although modern-day Turkey has never acknowledged that it took place, the persecution became the first case of genocide during the 20th century.
When he was going to start killing the Jews, Hitler asked: Who now remembers the Armenians?
Sadly, the answer to that question still goes in the favor of not many. The article above, is from two days after the event.
When I say Turkey denies it, I don't mean they casually deny it. They aggressivly deny and attempt to discredit any evidence. But the truth will not be silenced. The evidence is overwhelming.
On April 24th 1915, commemorated worldwide by Armenians as Genocide Memorial Day, hundreds of Armenian leaders were murdered in Istanbul after being summoned and gathered. The now leaderless Armenian people were to follow. Across the Ottoman Empire (with the exception of Constantinople, presumably due to a large foreign presence), the same events transpired from village to village, from province to province.
The remarkable thing about the following events is the virtually complete cooperation of the Armenians. For a number of reasons they did not know what was planned for them and went along with "their" government's plan to "relocate them for their own good." First, the Armenians were asked to turn in hunting weapons for the war effort. Communities were often given quotas and would have to buy additional weapons from Turks to meet their quota. Later, the government would claim these weapons were proof that Armenians were about to rebel. The able bodied men were then "drafted" to help in the wartime effort. These men were either immediately killed or were worked to death. Now the villages and towns, with only women, children, and elderly left were systematically emptied. The remaining residents would be told to gather for a temporary relocation and to only bring what they could carry. The Armenians again obediently followed instructions and were "escorted" by Turkish Gendarmes in death marches.
The death marches led across Anatolia, and the purpose was clear. The Armenians were raped, starved, dehydrated, murdered, and kidnapped along the way. The Turkish Gendarmes either led these atrocities or turned a blind eye. Their eventual destination for resettlement was just as telling in revealing the Turkish governments goal: the Syrian Desert, Der Zor. Those who miraculously survived the march would arrive to this bleak desert only to be killed upon arrival or to somehow survive until a way to escape the empire was found. Usually those that survived and escaped received assistance from those who have come to be known as "good Turks," from foreign missionaries who recorded much of these events and from Arabs.
Some of the horror is reflected in a quote from Talat Pasha the Grand Vizer of the Ottoman empire when asked about the Armenians in 1918. He said with a smile:
What on earth do you want? The question is settled. There are no more Armenians.
In the face of the evidence, does the United States recognize the genocide? The answer is no.
39 of 50 states do, but there is no national declaration of recognition. The states that do and have made public recognition are:
Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin
What countries have made similar declarations:
Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Uruguay, Vatican City and Venezuela.
These are small lists. Too small. Armenia was the first Christian nation and their Christianity played a part in why they were killed by the Ottoman empire. All of the Apostolic Churches hold the founder of Armenia, St. Gregory the Enlightener (Illuminator) as a Saint. But the Christian world is still silent when it comes to the Armenian Genocide.
As long as this situation remains unchanged we must ask the same question as a man who was pure evil: Who now remembers the Armenians?
I do. Their Loving Father in Heaven does. And I ask that you do. In our daily prayers and our efforts for Christians persecuted across the world, remember the innocent souls lost in the horror of the Armenian Genocide.
Online petition to get the Genocide recognized (link)
(Link) Armenian National Institute
(link) The Forgotten
Posted by DavidNic at 12:02 PM