Fight For Our Rights

Cynthia - Glendale, California
Entered on February 27, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: setbacks
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I believe that the Armenian Genocide should be recognized by the U.S. government. In October of 2007 the United States House Foreign Affairs Committee passed a bill stating that the Armenian Genocide should be recognized by the United States. When it passed the Committee, it was said that it would be taken to a vote by the House, then the Senate. If it passed the Senate, then the President would have the final say. Everyone knew President George W. Bush didn’t want that bill to pass because he thought it would ruin U.S.’s alliance with Turkey. The Armenians haven’t had any hope so far, but I believe that one day it will be recognized. The U.S. Congress will one day see the truth and memorialize it through the President signing it as a bill.

Many people don’t know about Armenians, let alone the Armenian Genocide. For Armenians, the genocide that occurred in 1915 is a big issue that needs to be heard by everyone. In October of 2007 the House Foreign Affairs Committee passed a bill 21-27. The Armenians hoped that it would finally be recognized until President George W. Bush lobbied the House members against the bill. Once news got to Turkey, Turkey angrily responded, and fifteen members of the House withdrew their sponsorship because they were afraid of what would happen to them. Armenians lost hope because Resolution 106, the one about the Armenian Genocide wasn’t going to be discussed in the Senate for a long time. Well, I believe that should be changed.

Americans all over the U.S. voted for a new president on November 4, 2008, and Barack Obama was elected. He is the nation’s first African American president. Americans wanted a change, which is why they voted for Obama. They showed the world that the United States is not afraid of change, so they should keep that thought pattern going. Armenians should educate Americans about the Genocide, and then lobby its political representatives to get enough votes to pass the Turkish resolution. They should change the way the government sees the Armenians. Armenians deserve a chance. One and a half million Armenians weren’t slaughtered for no reason.

My great-great grandfather was one of the many Armenians living a very prosperous life in Aintab, Turkey. He was a successful businessman, who was able to provide a comfortable life for his family. Due to the Genocide and not being able to leave the country right away, he bribed the Turkish police for seven years to allow him and his family to continue living there. Since he ran out of money, he packed his belongings and decided to flee. I sometimes imagine the legacy my family would’ve had if the genocide hadn’t occurred.

Armenians have been treated and seen differently then others. Everyone assumes that if one person does something the whole race is like that, but it’s not true. Every person is different, and shouldn’t be treated exactly the same way as everyone else. Americans treat Turkey as a friend because they don’t believe what Armenians are saying is true. Armenians could never do that because the Turks have taken our land and 1.5 million Armenians away from us, and they are not thinking about giving our land back. Currently, some countries have recognized the Genocide, and seen the real Turks. With persistency, effort and political strength, the Armenian genocide will be recognized. America is being stubborn, and not willing to recognize the truth. It’s time for a change because Armenians work day and night to have the atrocities the Turks inflicted upon us seen.

The Armenian Genocide occurred almost 100 years ago, and as of now has gone unnoticed. We, Armenians have tried many times to get the United States government to recognize it, and in October of 2007 we had a chance. Resolution 106 was passed by the House Foreign Affairs Committee, but once Bush spoke his mind, everything just fell right in front of our eyes. We are hoping one day a United States president will recognize the Armenian Genocide, and make our dreams come true. When I went to Washington D.C. in 2004, I visited the Holocaust museum, and in the whole entire museum there was only one comment about the Armenians, and it was “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?” This quote was by Adolf Hitler. One has to imagine if in the 1930’s before Hitler went on to kill six million Jews, if the Armenian genocide was recognized back then, Hitler would not have had the strength and the audacity to do what he did. I believe the recognition of the genocide could have changed history and saved many lives.