April 24th and Its Special Meaning

When I was in junior high school we had archery in gym class. I’ll never forget one particular day. I was waiting my turn to shoot when a few of my classmates who were at the line, ready to shoot their recurve bows, turned to me and asked, “Did you say you were Iranian?”

No! I’m Armenian! Armeeeeeeeeeenian!!” I emphatically replied.

See, at that time, the Iranian hostage crisis was still going on and we were a patriotic, well-informed bunch of students. Thankfully, I successfully convinced them that I was of an ethnicity very different from an Iranian and was able to avoid becoming a human pincushion for their sharp, pointy arrows. Not that it would have gone that far…I think….

Anyways, I wrote on my FB page today, that it amazes and saddens me that so many people, especially down here in Alabama, don’t know about or have never even heard of Armenia or Armenians. After all, we’ve been around for over 5,000 years! Now let me clarify that I am, first and foremost, American. My ethnicity is Armenian. My parents were born in the United States, as was I, but only one of my grandparents was born here: my maternal grandmother, who was born in Madison, Maine. My other three grandparents escaped from Turkey and eventually were able to make it to the United States, specifically New England.

Let me clarify again: they escaped from Turkey, but we are not Turkish. This is a good site to read about our rich history: History of Armenia. That should help clarify things about why my ancestors were living in Turkey when they escaped. Someday, I will write what little I know about the village they lived in, Habousi.

All I will say about it right now is that it lies underwater as the result of the building of a dam in the 1960’s & 70’s:

So, to get back to the subject. Today is April 24th, the day Armenians throughout the world collectively remember the Armenian Genocide which began in 1915. The numbers vary, but it is generally recognized that approximately 1.5 MILLION Armenians were killed during the years of 1915 to 1923. Unlike Germany, which admitted to the Jewish Holocaust, Turkey has yet to admit that a genocide ever occurred. They have manipulated their history books to reflect nothing of the sort happened. It is a touchy and volatile subject for both Turkish and Armenians, to say the least.

Armenian Genocide Memorial, Yerevan, Armenia

With each passing year, younger generations of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide are becoming more vocal in demanding that countries throughout the world, including the United States, force Turkey to finally admit that this horrific event did, indeed, occur. As we get nearer to the 100th anniversary of the genocide, the voices, which are not just Armenian, will only get louder….

 

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About rebelwife

New England wife of a Southern man relocated back to Alabama.
This entry was posted in Family, Life and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to April 24th and Its Special Meaning

  1. garden2day says:

    I am sorry that so many are short-sighted. When we do not acknowledge the atrocities that have happened we will forever repeat our failures.

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  2. rebelwife says:

    You’re right. Believe it or not, there are some young people today, who do not know who Hitler was or what he did! I’ve also heard that over in the Far East, Hitler t-shirts are becoming a popular item. History becomes blurred and distorted, then forgotten, if not taught to the younger generations in its proper context (or at all).

    There is a famous quote that Hitler said in a speech to his generals on the eve of the beginning of the Holocaust. In some circles, especially the anti-Armenian Genocide crowd, it is heatedly debated as to whether it really ever was spoken. Regardless, it is still poignant: “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”

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  3. sheokhanda says:

    i have heard and watched about Armenian genocide in history and discovery channel. It said that Turkey drove Armenians away because in world war I they supported the enemies of Turkey.
    So as a revenge the Armenians were excommunicated and made to leave turkey. It lead to the killing of 1.5 million people and there is a museum in a country named Armenia which is besides Turkey.

    I think the world has started to know about the genocide and I guess recently a Turkish journalist/writer was also killed because of it.

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    • rebelwife says:

      Yes, more people do know or are learning about the genocide and people in Turkey who are outspoken about it take great risk to do so. From what I learned, growing up, there was much more to it than what you learned. Before the genocide, there were massacres in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s that lead many Armenians to immigrate to the USA to make money so they could later bring the rest of their family over. They knew trouble was coming. That is what happened on my maternal grandfather’s side.

      There’s much for people to learn about these things. Unfortunately, when they don’t or they forget, history repeats itself.

      Thank you for stopping by and following my blog! I hope you enjoy it!

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