Commemoration of the 109th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide in Boston

Under the looming threat of handover of villages in Tavush to the enemy

The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Sardarabad Gomideh, the Leola Sassouni and Shushi chapters of the Armenian Relief Society, the Nejdeh AYF chapter, the Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Society of Boston, and the Armenian General Athletic Union (Homenetmen) of Boston co-hosted a commemorative event entitled “1915-2024: What Has Changed?” The event was held on April 11 at the Armenian Cultural Foundation in Arlington, Massachusetts, featuring keynote speaker Raffi Hamparian, chairman of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), and performances by the Zanger Children’s Chorus of Boston, a project of the Armenian Culture Connection under the leadership of Dr. Artur Veranian.

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The month of April, symbolic of renewal and rebirth across cultures, ironically marks some of history’s darkest events. It witnessed the beginning of the Armenian Genocide on April 24, 1915, with the arrest and subsequent murder of 250 Armenian intellectuals in Constantinople, the start of a systematic annihilation that U.S. Ambassador Henry Morgenthau then described as the “murder of a nation.” Similarly catastrophic, April also marks the anniversaries of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and the Rwandan Genocide, highlighting a recurring theme of profound human suffering during what is typically a time of natural rejuvenation.

As we commemorate the 109th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, the memories of past atrocities remain vivid, revealing a chilling parallel with recent events in Artsakh. The continued aggression poses renewed challenges to the Armenian community, which is still grappling with the repercussions of ongoing conflicts that threaten the existence and sovereignty of the Armenian nation. The resilience of Armenians through these trials reflects an enduring spirit, one that gathers not in resignation but in active remembrance and staunch defiance of the erasure of their culture and history.

The ANCA stands at the forefront of this struggle, advocating for the recognition and remembrance of Armenian tragedies and ensuring that history acknowledges and learns from these episodes. As community members and leaders gather to remember and reflect, they are also called to act – ensuring that the resilience of the Armenian spirit informs a collective push towards securing justice and safeguarding the future of their heritage and homeland. This convergence of remembrance and action encapsulates the Armenian community’s unwavering commitment to never forgetting the past and preventing its recurrence, striving for a future where Armenian lives and heritage are respected and preserved.

Hamparian, in his remarks, focused on the theme of not only commemorating the 109th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide but also confronting a contemporary challenge that echoes the sorrows of our past. The gathering marked a solemn occasion to reflect on the profound sacrifices made by our forebears in 1918, which led to the establishment of the First Independent Republic of Armenia – an achievement wrought from unwavering patriotism, determination and profound sacrifices.

He touched upon how we find ourselves grappling with a similar threat today, with the looming planned handover of four Tavush villages to Azerbaijan, threatening to undermine the sovereignty of our beloved homeland. This perilous act has sparked a vigorous response across Armenia, uniting our people in a resounding declaration of defiance against a regime that appears disconnected from the very essence of our national spirit and heritage.

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Today, the ARF reiterates its commitment to the values that have sustained our national identity: individual freedom, national self-determination and a harmonious, prosperous society. These are not mere words but the pillars upon which our future must be built, free from the shadows of subjugation and despair.

Our resolve is further fortified by the enduring belief that darkness cannot drive out darkness – only light can. Hate cannot drive out hate – only love can. Today, we choose to stand in that light, propelled by a love for our country that burns fiercely within us – a love that values every human life and the intrinsic worth of our cultural heritage.

Therefore, as we move forward, let us channel the indomitable spirit of our ancestors who, in 1918, faced overwhelming odds yet secured our nation’s sovereignty. We must continue to safeguard our homeland, demand accountability and ensure that our government reflects its people’s will and resilience.

Together, let us pledge to uphold the security, integrity and freedom of Armenia. Let us support and sustain the movements that seek not just to remember the past but to secure a future where our national dignity and territorial integrity are unassailable. Let us be the watchtower of the Armenian cause, ever vigilant and forever steadfast.

Guest Contributor

Guest Contributor

Guest contributions to the Armenian Weekly are informative articles or press releases written and submitted by members of the community.

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