This article is dedicated to the memory of the 1,500,000 Armenians who were martyred during the Turkish massacres, which culminated on April 24, 1915.
“Fear not Them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: But rather fear Him which is able to destroy both body and soul in hell,” Matthew X, 28.
The Armenian Genocide was a crime that exterminated an entire nation from infants up through elders; a crime whose criminals starved and burned children; brutally raped pure, angelic women; beheaded young men and forced a Christian people to abandon their faith.
Such a horrible and barbaric crime was committed by the genocidal government of Turkish emperors against the Armenian people during the span of three terrible years – the bloodiest day of which occurred on April 24, 1915 when more than half of the Armenian population was massacred. But history has yet to report this crime, and this world, which is so accustomed to atrocity, has yet to recognize what is known to those that suffered as the first genocide of the 20th century. How can it be that such a violent crime committed against the nation of Armenia – a nation so vital to the history of mankind – has gone unpunished and unrecognized? After all, Armenia was the first nation to adopt Christianity in 301 A.D., and it is the country that bears the historical Mount Ararat, which is where the biblical Noah’s Ark landed.
Perhaps it is due to the Turkish government’s blatant refusal to acknowledge and take responsibility for the crime of massacring more than one and a half million people, their intellectuals, clergymen, scholars, musicians and other men of art, without mercy even for those Armenian architects who had built and decorated the mosques for their religious worship.
This year marks the 91st anniversary of the inhuman mass-murder which was perpetrated against the Armenian people during the bitter and disastrous days of World War I. Ninety-one years after the great massacre, the Armenian people, both in Armenia and throughout the world, reverently bow before the unknown graves of the valiant victims and pray in remembrance of that dark and awful day when death and destruction filled their eyes.
In fact, an entire nation was martyred but the Armenians did not die forever. Against this deadly attempt, the Armenian people rose up with all the might and instinct necessary for survival. And today, the pages of history testify that the nation itself was the conqueror, and that the enemy had devoured only the body of the Armenian, but he had never been able to consume the Armenian soul which is invincible and imperishable. This is the reason why, on the occasion of the 91st anniversary, the Armenian people must take a new stand. April 24 is no longer a day of tears and mourning. For the sake of the glorious victims Armenians must proclaim April 24 as a day of victory and dispel once and forever from the hearts and minds of the Armenian people the sense of defeat and lamentation. The victims of the Armenian Genocide died with the hope of living; therefore, April 24 is no longer a day stained with a sense of defeat, but rather a day overcome with exaltation for survival.
Shamoneh Ayazjoo is a junior English major.