04.24.08

In Honor of Remembrance Day, Rep. Schiff Vows to Continue the Fight to Recognize the Armenian Genocide

Official Seal of the US House of Representatives

Thursday, April 24, 2008 Contact: Sean Oblack (202) 225-4176

In Honor of Remembrance Day, Rep. Schiff Vows to Continue the Fight to Recognize the Armenian Genocide

WASHINGTON, DC – At an event on Capitol Hill last night in honor of the 93rd Anniversary of the Armenia Genocide, Rep. Adam Schiff vowed to continue to lead efforts in Congress to recognize the Armenian Genocide.  Rep. Schiff is the sponsor of “The Affirmation of the U.S. Record on the Armenian Genocide” resolution (H. Res. 106) which calls on the President to “ensure that the foreign policy of the United States reflects appropriate understanding” of the “Armenian Genocide” and to “accurately characterize the systematic and deliberate annihilation of 1,500,000 Armenians as genocide.” His remarks from last night’s event are below:

“I’m Congressman Adam Schiff and I’m very proud to represent one of the largest Armenian communities in the country.  Ninety-three years ago, a million and a half people lost their lives for the simple reason that they were Armenian.  It began with a round-up of intellectuals.  It continued with forced marches in the desert; women and children, parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles perished.  Whole families were lost.  Almost an entire people were lost. 

“Ninety-three years later we still fight in the greatest democracy on earth to recognize the plain facts of what took place.  We have witnesses; some of them are here today.  There are fewer and fewer witnesses left, though, and while there are witnesses among us we have the strongest moral imperative to recognize what they went through and what their families went through. 

“We have the strongest moral imperative to call that loss exactly what it was - without equivocation, without mitigation – a genocide.  And we will fight until we succeed.  We have a moral imperative and we have a very practical imperative as well.  And the practical imperative is this, although this genocide took place ninety-three years ago, there is also a genocide taking place today half-way around the world.  And we cannot have the moral authority we need to stand up and ask the world to take action against that genocide if we don’t have the courage and the moral rectitude to recognize this genocide and indeed every genocide. 

“So this must change, this will change, the fight will go on, we will prevail.  I ask your help and God’s help that we prevail in time for the survivors to see justice done in their name.”