The Armenian Weekly Editorial Board and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Eastern Region (ARF-ER) Central Committee are proud to announce the introduction of longtime ARF member Pauline Getzoyan as editor of the Armenian Weekly. This is her first of hopefully many editorials.
This week I listened to members of the US House of Representatives explain the importance of passing House Resolution 296 (H.Res.296) recognizing the Armenian Genocide, made possible in large part due to the active lobbying efforts of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA). Following discussion, the House overwhelmingly voted in favor of the resolution – a landslide victory with a vote of 405 to 11! Two weeks ago, I was an Eastern Region delegate at the Armenian Relief Society (ARS) 72nd International Convention, listening to my fellow delegates eagerly come to the aid of our South American colleagues in their need for funds to keep a rest home open and viable for the Armenian elderly in their community. Prior to the beginning of the ARS convention, I reflected on and composed testimony in support of legislation mandating the inclusion of genocide education in Massachusetts schools, similar to one passed in my home state of Rhode Island in 2016. While I couldn’t be physically present for the testimony, I felt my written testimony allowed me to be there in spirit.
Why am I telling you this? As I sit here ready to begin my new role as editor of The Armenian Weekly, these recent events highlight the similarities between activities I feel are my missions. I don’t say this to seem pretentious, but rather to explain the impact of these events in my life thus far. This is especially in remembrance of my grandparents—those strong, steadfast, loving, faithful and determined survivors of the Armenian Genocide. How I wish I could have seen their faces in reaction to passage of H.Res.296, not to mention passage of the RI genocide education legislation! I can’t help but think of their reactions to the additional possibility of the legislation requiring genocide education in Massachusetts schools.
My maternal grandmother Margaret DerManuelian was a member of the ARS Arax chapter in Providence. She solemnly would have nodded her head as I told her about what happened at the convention in Montreal, saying that this is what the ARS does, responds to the needs of our people, always “with the people, and for the people.” She would not have been surprised at all. Rather, she would have expected nothing less, while I was moved to tears at the generosity and love of our members in responding to the needs of our elderly. At the same time, word of the Turkish attacks in northern Syria, once again impacting the Armenian community in the region, brought consternation to the convention, requiring an immediate call to action and a view to how “we” could help “our people.”
Now, adding to the work I consider to be some of my most important is this new position as editor of a newspaper that has been in my life since birth, a newspaper that has always been visible in our home and part of our family life keeping us informed on important news and events impacting us individually and as part of a much larger Armenian community. How does this fit in with the rest of my work? How can I continue to work for the good of our community? As I consider these questions, I realize that serving in my new role brings everything together in a way I never would have imagined. As someone who believes in communicating noteworthy and inspiring happenings, I hope to further engage our community in all aspects of the collective Armenian experience, particularly related to education, culture and humanitarian efforts, areas I hold especially close to my heart.