"Madam Speaker, I rise today to commemorate the ninety-third anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
"In September of 1919, President Woodrow Wilson spoke of his vision of a future Armenia. He said, ‘Armenia is to be redeemed...So that at last this great people, struggling through night after night of terror, knowing not when they may come out into a time when they can enjoy their rights as free people that they never dreamed they would be able to exercise.'
"The Armenian people finally have the ability to enjoy the rights that President Wilson hoped they would have so many years ago, and for that we are all thankful.
"The nights of terror that President Wilson spoke about, the Armenian Genocide, was the first genocide of the twentieth century. It was the opening chapter of what was arguably the most violent period of human history. In the decades following this initial Genocide, the world witnessed genocidal acts against the Jews and against the Roma in World War II, and subsequently in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and in too many wars to list here. Today, the world is witnessing genocide yet again in Darfur.
"There is no more important way to commit ourselves to preventing the genocides of the future than to commemorate and never forget the genocides of the past. As such, I would like to note my continuing support for House finally passage of H.Res. 106, the Affirmation of the United States Record on the Armenian Genocide Resolution. In my view, it is long past time for the United States to officially recognize the massacre of one and a half million Armenians in early in the twentieth century for what it undeniably was: a genocide.
"Countries all around the world have adopted similar resolutions to ensure that the atrocities committed against the Armenian people are properly recognized as genocide. Canada, France, Switzerland, Greece, and Poland have passed resolutions affirming the recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Properly recognizing the Armenian Genocide here in America is essential to ensure that all past genocides are never forgotten and all future atrocities are never permitted. This House must afford the proper recognition to the Armenian Genocide. We must do so not only because of our solemn obligation to recognize those that were lost, but also because of our duty to those that can still be saved.
"I yield back the balance of my time."
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 24, 2008
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