Washington (April 24, 2014) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), who has long fought for recognition of the Armenian Genocide, today commemorated the 99th anniversary of the genocide by releasing remarks submitted for the Senate record. Two weeks ago, Senator Markey voted in the Foreign Relations Committee to advance the Armenian Genocide resolution, of which he is a cosponsor, which would formally recognize the Armenian Genocide. Senator Markey submitted remarks for the Senate record recognizing this historic Committee vote and the anniversary of the genocide.
Senator Markey’s remarks are below. While in the House, then-Rep. Markey consistently delivered remarks for the Congressional record to commemorate the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Then-Rep. Markey’s statement from 2013 is available HERE.
Statement of Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.)
Remarks on the Ninety-Ninth Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide
“Mr. President, the Armenian Genocide is sometimes called the “forgotten genocide.” But every April, we come together to remember and commemorate the Armenian Genocide and to declare that we will never forget.
“In order to prevent future genocides, we must clearly acknowledge and remember those of the past. For many years the Congress has had before it a resolution which clearly affirms the factual reality that the Armenian Genocide did occur. I was a strong and vocal supporter of the genocide resolution for my entire tenure in the House and I am proud to have joined Senator Menendez and Senator Kirk in introducing the Armenian Genocide resolution in the Senate.
“This is the ninety-ninth anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, yet the suffering will continue for Armenians and non-Armenians alike as long as the world allows denial to exist and prevail. It is long overdue for the United States to join the many other nations that have formally recognized the Armenian Genocide.
“That is why today’s passage by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee of the genocide resolution in advance of the ninety-ninth anniversary is so historic. I was proud to vote for this important resolution today in Committee, and I will keep fighting to ensure its passage by the full Senate. I will continue to work with the Armenian-American community to build a prosperous and bright future for the Armenian people.
“We must continue to stand with our ally Armenia to address the challenges they face. Armenia is confronted with blockades by Turkey and Azerbaijan – one of the longest lasting blockades in modern history. The United States must provide increased assistance to Armenia, work to promote trade with Armenia, and work to reestablish the Turkish government’s commitment to normalized relations. And the United States should work to facilitate a closer relationship between Armenia and Europe.
“The Armenian people are true survivors. Despite repeated invasions, loss of land and the loss of between one-half and three-quarters of their population in the genocide, the people of Armenia have prevailed.
“We have a shared responsibility to ensure that the Armenian people are able to build their own independent and prosperous future. Together we can continue to build an Armenia that is respected and honored by its allies and neighbors. But for this to happen, there needs to be universal acknowledgement of the horror that was the Armenian Genocide.”