Resolution Recognizing the Armenian Genocide Hon. Anna G. Eshoo of California in the House of Representatives
Ms. ESHOO. Mr. Speaker, the Congress was set to vote on a historic resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide but it was pulled because the lobbying power of the Turkish Government has once again stifled it. Opponents have argued that passage of this resolution would severely jeopardize United States-Turkey relations. This resolution is not an indictment of the current Turkish Government nor is it a condemnation of any current leader of Turkey. It is an acknowledgment of genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire almost a century ago.
In 1915, 1.5 million women, children, and men were killed and the Ottoman Empire forcibly deported 500,000 Armenians during an 8-year reign of brutal repression. Armenians were deprived of their homes, their dignity, and ultimately their lives. Yet America, the greatest democracy and land of freedom, has not made an official statement regarding the Armenian Genocide. I am dismayed and angered by this hypocrisy and I will not rest until this resolution passes the Congress.
The Armenian Genocide has been acknowledged by countries and international bodies such as Argentina, Belgium, Canada, the Council of Europe, Cyprus, the European Parliament, France, Great Britain, Greece, Lebanon, Russia, the United Nations and Uruguay. All of these countries and organizations believed that recognizing this resolution out-weighed any potential repercussion from Turkey. We should be part of this honor roll of nations and organizations.
Mr. Speaker, as the only Member of Congress of Armenian and Assyrian descent, I am very proud of my heritage. I sat at the knees of my grandparents and elders as they told their stories of hardship and suffering endured by so many at the hands of the Ottoman Empire. That is how I came to this understanding and this knowledge and why I bring this story to the House of Representatives.
It is important to appreciate fully that the Armenian people have made great contributions to our nation. They have distinguished themselves in the arts, in law, in academics, in every walk of life and they continue to make significant contributions in communities across our country today.
It is time, Mr. Speaker, that Congress begin to heal the wounds of the past. It's critically important for our nation to acknowledge what happened, but also as a nation it is important to understand that we are teaching present and future generations of the Armenian Genocide.
In closing, I want to express my gratitude to the Armenian
community for their hard work on this resolution. This work is not
in vain because we've brought the genocide into our nation's
consciousness against great odds. In another Congress, in another
time, we shall complete this effort and I shall do everything I can
to see that this resolution and all it represents will be the
official expression of our nation.
Armenian, Assyrian and Hellenic Genocide News Archives