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By Remembering the Genocide, We Can Help Rebuild Armenia
Opinion
By Opinion
Published 1 month ago on
April 22, 2024

People line up to lay flowers at the monument to the victims of mass killings by Ottoman Turks to commemorate the 106th anniversary of the massacre, in Yerevan, Armenia, April 24, 2021. (Davit Abrahamyan/PAN Photo via AP/File)

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Imagine a 3,500-year-old civilization. Some accounts suggest even longer, that they’d been in that area since the 7th Century B.C.

Imagine that same civilization being on the Silk Road between Asia and Europe; their kingdoms stopping grounds for traders, explorers, and others. Now imagine this is the same civilization that its enemies are trying to destroy today.

Sevag Tateosian portrait

Sevag Tateosian

Opinion

We are talking about Armenia and Armenians, a civilization and people that have been around for centuries. It is believed that Alexander the Great’s personal writer wrote about them. Even with countless stories and books dedicated to Armenia and her deep history, today its neighbors pretend this country was born yesterday. They try to erase its history and re-purpose its historical sites.

Armenia is on the minds of many today as the 109th year after the Armenian Genocide approaches. There is no question that the Armenian Genocide is one of the darkest days in the history of this people, who have contributed to the betterment of our world.

In 1915, the Ottoman Empire’s leaders organized the systematic destruction of the Armenians. After forcing them out of their homes, and the Ottomans later sold those homes and belongings to stuff the Empire’s depleted coffers. One-and-a-half million people lost their lives. Those who survived did so by marching and were nearly killed, kidnapped or starved to death along the way.

Building a New Armenia

Fresno and other California cities are where many found refuge. Here, the Armenians built a new life, establishing businesses, building churches, starting schools. They continued and continue to push for their children and families to build a new Armenia. Building a new Armenia also requires educating non-Armenians about the truth of what happened through conversations, books, and movies.

The country of Armenia is also in rebuilding mode. Despite being a fraction of what it once was, there’s growth in multiple sectors — driven by those from the diaspora whose parents and grandparents marched through the harsh terrain of those mountains and deserts of Asian Minor.

At the 100th year commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, in 2015, Armenians around the world used a beautiful purple flower as a symbol called the “forget me not” flower to remember those who perished. Today, 109 years later, we continue to remember with the “forget me not.” We not only remember, but we imagine the great kingdoms of this historic people.

About the Author

Sevag Tateosian is the host and producer of San Joaquin Spotlight on CMAC TV, TalkRadio 1550 KXEX, and a podcast.

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