PRESS RELEASE
Senator Barbara Boxer
Washington D.C.
112 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
(202) 224-3553

http://boxer.enews.senate.gov/mail/util. cfm?gpiv=1999902403.1910123.0&gen=1

Barbara Boxer
United States Senator



*IN COMMEMORATION OF THE 93rd ANNIVERSARY OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE*

Mrs. BOXER. Mr. President, I take this opportunity today to solemnly
observe the 93rd Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

The Armenian Genocide was the first genocide of the 20th century. From
1915 until 1923, 1.5 million Armenians were brutally killed by the
Ottoman Turks in a systematic effort to eradicate the Armenian
people. There were unbearable acts of torture; men were separated from
their families and murdered; women and children were put on a forced
march across the Syrian desert without food or water.

Henry Morgenthau, the U.S. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire from 1913
to 1916, recalled:

`When the Turkish authorities gave the orders for these deportations,
they were merely giving the death warrant to a whole race; they
understood this well, and, in their conversations with me, they made
no particular attempt to conceal the fact...I am confident that the
whole history of the human race contains no such horrible episode as
this. The great massacres and persecutions of the past seem almost
insignificant when compared to the sufferings of the Armenian race in
1915.'

Tragically, 1915 was just the beginning. We saw the horrors of
genocide in World War II when Jews were subjected to systematic
extermination at the hands of Adolf Hitler and his followers. Indeed,
Hitler remarked at the outset of this unbridled evil, `Who, after all,
speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?' Unfortunately, the
phrase `never again' turned out to be a hollow slogan. In the later
half of the last century, countries like Cambodia and Rwanda were
ravaged while the world was silent. And even now, in this new century,
Darfur is the latest place to experience such brutality and inhumanity
as the world stands idly by, either incapable or unwilling to do what
is necessary to stop the devastation and murder.

Today, the Turkish government denies what happened in the dying days
of the Ottoman Empire and thus this scar on history cannot be healed
until history is accurately spoken, written, and recalled. These are
lessons that must be told and repeated to each and every generation.

In order for democracy and human rights to flourish, we must not
support efforts to rewrite and deny history. In the United States, we
strive to make human rights a fundamental component of our
democracy. It is long overdue for our nation to demand that the truth
be told. We must recognize the Armenian Genocide in the name of
democracy, fairness, and human rights.

To that end, I am proud to be an original co-sponsor of Senator
Richard Durbin's Senate Resolution 106, calling on the President to
accurately characterize the Armenian Genocide in his annual message
around April 24th and to ensure that the foreign policy of the United
States reflects appropriate understanding and sensitivity concerning
issues related to human rights, ethnic cleansing, and genocide
documented in the United States record relating to the Armenian
Genocide.

It is important that we recognize the Armenian Genocide while its
survivors are still with us to tell their stories. We must recognize
the genocide for the survivors. We must recognize the genocide because
it's the right thing to do. We must recognize the Armenian Genocide to
help shed light on the darkness and move toward a more humane world.