“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
It’s never easy to reflect upon something dark and tragic. Our words cannot bring justice, but perhaps, because they’re all we have, they can bring a sense of peace and most importantly, awareness. If you’ve never heard of the Armenian Genocide, you could read some of the details here.
It’s silly to us that we’ve yet to have recognition over the genocide for we’re the type of people who’ll apologize even if we don’t believe we’ve done anything wrong. If a person came up to us and said our words or actions have hurt them, whether or not we meant to, we’d sincerely apologize. The 1.5 million Armenians who have brutally lost their lives that could never come back — they can only move on in peace. But how could people move on if there’s no justice? The past is the past for a reason. It’s meant to stay there. And it can, we can move forward with recognition. We can move on with forgiveness. We can move on with peace.
Additionally, for those who haven’t heard, recently people of Artsakh were victims to violent attacks. And for me, Artsakh is home. It’s where my family was born. And despite the fact that I was born in the US, Artsakh is the place where I’ve spent seemingly endless summers dreaming under grapevines. Home is supposed to be a magical place and it was. It really, truly is. In 1994 relatives of mine fought in the war to keep Artsakh, and to have that ceasefire from the past broken just a few weeks ago was heart wrenching. Devastating to the point where I’ve yet been able to talk about it. And yet, I can discuss 101 topics, but I never feel my words could properly do the Armenian Genocide justice.
The reality is, all we can do is pray and stand together. And that’s always been something we’ve admired about our fellow Armenians, where two meet, there’s steadfast loyalty and adoration. Continuing to stand strong together and remaining kind is how I firmly believe we can make changes. Continuing to pray for peace and allowing God to take care of measures honorably is how it should be done. We must do our best to educate those in power with our words and nobility. We must use those words wisely. We must use our words gracefully. Armenians were some of the first people to accept Christianity as their religion, and today of all days, we must remember that the root of Christianity is love. Jesus Christ died for our sins out of love. And it’s that same love that we must continuously pay forward.