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U.S. Pres. Obama Twice Uses Meds Yeghern The Armenian Equivalent Of Genocide in His Presidential Statementţ
U.S. Pres. Obama Twice Uses Meds Yeghern The Armenian Equivalent Of Genocide in His Presidential Statement
By Appo Jabarian
Executive Publisher / Managing Editor
USA Armenian Life Magazine
Friday April 24, 2009
Today, U.S. Pres. Obama Twice Used Meds Yeghern The Armenian Equivalent Of Genocide in His Presidential Statement issued in commemoration of the 94th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

Several Armenian political observers agree with leading Armenian American activists such as Harut Sassounian that Armenians need to move on and pursue their quest for Justice.

Sassounian wrote on several occasions that the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide has already been achieved through the collective hard work by notable Armenian organizations during the past several decades.

In an interview with The Los Angeles Times in April 2008, Sassounian stated: “Now the genocide is an established fact. So we're not clamoring anymore about the world ignoring us. And the L.A. Times is the best example of that. The paper is on record recognizing the genocide. So are the New York Times and the Boston Globe. Even recently, Time magazine issued a statement recognizing it as genocide and saying it would be referred to as such.”

He continued: “In 1915 there was a nation living on its own ancestral homeland. They had been there long before there was a Turkey. In addition to losing 1.5 million people, we were uprooted from our homeland.”

He concluded: “Just asking for recognition from the Turks, having them come and say "Yes, 90 or 100 years ago, your ancestors were wiped out," that doesn't do anything. We already know we were wiped out. So what we want, as a right, no matter how impossible the implementation, as a right we demand justice for the Armenian people. For all the stuff that was taken from them we demand just compensation. And that can take many forms. This is where Armenians and Turks should sit down, and have a very lengthy and serious discussion about what can be done.”

Today over fifty thousand Armenians marched in Hollywood where Sassounian delivered the keynote address on the Armenian quest for justice.

Thousands more will join the protest rally in front of the Turkish Consulate in Los Angeles at 4PM this afternoon.

A Letter on Pres. Obama’s Statement on The Armenian Genocide:

President Obama Takes A Strong Stand In Solidarity, Uses The Armenian Word For Genocide "Meds Yeghern"

In using the Armenian phrase for what the Turkish government inflicted upon our nation in 1915, President Obama has taken a strong stand in solidarity with our community on April 24th. By using the words for Genocide in Armenian "Meds Yeghern," the language of a people the Turks attempted to wipe off the face of the earth to describe what was inflicted upon our families, he has delivered a powerful message to Ankara that the Armenian people have triumphed.

It's time now for us to move forward in the pursuit of the ultimate justice for our fallen nation, the return of our ancestral homeland.
William M. Paparian


Office of the Press Secretary
April 24, 2009

Statement of President Barack Obama
on Armenian Remembrance Day

Ninety four years ago, one of the great atrocities of the 20th century began. Each year, we pause to remember the 1.5 million Armenians who were subsequently massacred or marched to their death in the final days of the Ottoman Empire. The Meds Yeghern must live on in our memories, just as it lives on in the hearts of the Armenian people.

History, unresolved, can be a heavy weight. Just as the terrible events of 1915 remind us of the dark prospect of man’s inhumanity to man, reckoning with the past holds out the powerful promise of reconciliation. I have consistently stated my own view of what occurred in 1915, and my view of that history has not changed. My interest remains the achievement of a full, frank and just acknowledgment of the facts.

The best way to advance that goal right now is for the Armenian and Turkish people to address the facts of the past as a part of their efforts to move forward. I strongly support efforts by the Turkish and Armenian people to work through this painful history in a way that is honest, open, and constructive. To that end, there has been courageous and important dialogue among Armenians and Turks, and within Turkey itself. I also strongly support the efforts by Turkey and Armenia to normalize their bilateral relations. Under Swiss auspices, the two governments have agreed on a framework and roadmap for normalization. I commend this progress, and urge them to fulfill its promise.

Together, Armenia and Turkey can forge a relationship that is peaceful, productive and prosperous. And together, the Armenian and Turkish people will be stronger as they acknowledge their common history and recognize their common humanity.

Nothing can bring back those who were lost in the Meds Yeghern. But the contributions that Armenians have made over the last ninety-four years stand as a testament to the talent, dynamism and resilience of the Armenian people, and as the ultimate rebuke to those who tried to destroy them. The United States of America is a far richer country because of the many Americans of Armenian descent who have contributed to our society, many of whom immigrated to this country in the aftermath of 1915. Today, I stand with them and with Armenians everywhere with a sense of friendship, solidarity, and deep respect.


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