Boise’s small but active and growing Armenian community gathered on Saturday for an annual monument to commemorate the National Armenian Genocide Anniversary.
This year’s memorial, which is held locally every year, had a special meaning.
According to President Joe Biden’s first statement, “Every year on this day, we remember the lives of all those who died in the Ottoman genocide of Armenians and promised to prevent such atrocities from happening again. I will do it. ” The President of the United States officially acknowledged what happened between 1915 and 1923 as “genocide.”
President Ronald Reagan in 1981 called the atrocities “genocide,” but later turned back. Since then, the president has been urged to refer to what happened as genocide each year, but fears upset and offend Turkey, which denies the death of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians as genocide. Everyone gave in.
Why is this important?
Adolf Hitler had a good understanding of what had happened to the Armenians before the extinction of millions of Jews on the Holocaust, and the implications of denying and hiding atrocities. It was.
“After all, who is talking about the Armenian Genocide today?” Hitler said in a 1939 speech.
The 1915 Armenian Genocide was considered the first genocide of the 20th century and served as a precursor to the genocide that continued around the world.
Greg Hampician, a professor at Boise State University and head of the Innocence Project for gene and DNA analysis, was well suited to speak at the commemorative ceremony on Saturday. He said the word “genocide” itself corresponds to his work itself. It is an attempt to destroy the genetic lineage and wipe out people who share a common genetic code. He became emotional several times, but the gathered people inherited Armenian heritage, especially when some 75 people gathered at the Anne Frank Memorial mentioned it as proof that the slaughter was unsuccessful. I was there.
The United States is a country with a large Armenian population, especially in Southern California (most Americans are familiar with the world’s most famous Armenian, Cardassian, with the writer Chris Boharian for the literary type. You may be familiar with William Saloyan). ..
Dan Prinzing, Executive Director Wasmus Center for Human RightsThe governor of the Anne Frank Memorial gave a wonderfully enthusiastic speech on Saturday about why it was so important to admit the 1915 Armenian Genocide.
“When denial continues, there can be no justice,” he said, and when a country can deny genocide with impunity, it would later bold those who commit such atrocities. He added that it would only be useful.
The first phase of the Armenian genocide began on April 24, 1915, when the Ottoman government arrested and killed hundreds of Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople, or modern Istanbul. I did. Genocide and the Oschwitz Institute for the Prevention of Massacres.. The killings extended to the brutal massacre of Armenian men across the land of the Ottoman Empire and the deportation of Armenian women, children and the elderly to the Syrian Desert.
Boise’s Jo-Ann Kachigian, as a 12-year-old girl, tells the story of her mother, who was led to one of these death marches.She was only “saved” by the Turks in Aleppo, Syria, where she was sold to slaves. The stop after the death march was a mass execution, so she thought she was saved.
Joan’s mother eventually went to the United States, where she reunited with her brothers who had escaped the genocide.
Many people, including my wife’s family, have a similar story of fleeing persecution. Our son is named after his great-grandfather Luke Dohanian. He fled the area with his family and traveled to the United States, leaving behind a long line of proud Armenian-Americans.
The New York Times reported on Sunday that it enthusiastically denied what had happened as genocide.Turkey is sure to teach school children that the atrocities were not genocide but riot control.
It is important that President Biden, and all of us, reject attempts to clean the history of Turkey.
If there is one lesson that can be learned from the denial of the 1915 Armenian Genocide, it is the old adage that “those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it.”
Scott McIntosh is an opinion editor for the Idaho Legislature. You can email him at [email protected] or call him at 208-377-6202. Follow him on Twitter @ ScottMcIntosh12.