The Armenian Genocide, the first genocide of the 20th Century, occurred when 1.5 million Armenians living in Turkey were forced from their historic homeland during the massacres of 1915 – 1918. The date of remembrance is the day the genocide started, April 24th, 1915, when the Ottoman authorities rounded up, arrested, and deported some 250 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders from Constantinople to Ankara, the majority of whom were eventually murdered.
Turkey continues to deny the Armenian Genocide, however activists have pushed for formal recognition from various governments around the world. Over 22 countries acknowledge the Armenian Genocide as a bona fide historical event, including Vatican City upon Pope Francis’ statement of recognition on the 100th anniversary.
Vicki Lee’s pays tribute to the 1.5 million victims of the Armenian Genocide and to the memory of her grandfather Albert Janjigian, who survived the genocide but didn’t live to see it recognized. Let’s join the other 22+ countries around the world and recognize the Armenian Genocide now.
On this day we’d like to share a quote that is very dear to us and has hung in our shop since the day we opened. It is a quote from William Saroyan that unleashes emotional energy and praises the Armenians’ ability to keep their culture alive.
“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.”
– William Saroyan