As I write this (Dec. 11, 2013), we now stand 500 days from April 24, 2015. One hundred years ago, babies were born, couples married, and there was no idea that life in Western Armenia would change forever in 500 days.
Some may say it ended, but that implies the presence of Armenians on those lands will never return. I do not believe that.
As far as I know, only records from one Armenian Apostolic church outside of Istanbul exist from the pre-genocide period: the records of Sourp Krikor Lusavorich in Gesaria (Kayseri). Beginning with this issue in the Armenian Weekly, a counter indicating the number of days remaining to April 24, 2015 and a list of all children baptized in this church during 1914-1915 will be posted. (The full baptism records for 1914-1915 are available in the calendar below.)
I wished to provide some additional information about the families of these children baptized a century ago in Gesaria. Unfortunately, the few sources I have do not offer such stories. It will have to wait for either another week or maybe for some reader that has such information.
Regardless, it is appropriate to reflect not on dry statistics but on the children born into a tempest and the trauma they and their families were about to endure.
I only ask that you turn that reflection into action!