Glendale College's Student Magazine
Tuesday October 24th 2017

Opinion: 100 Years Since the Armenian Genocide, Scars Remain

Letter to the Editor: A historic event took place at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Downtown, Los Angeles, on Tuesday, April 14, 2015, where more than 150 religious leaders joined to commemorate the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide in 1915. Reverend José H. Gomez, the Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, hosted the service for more than 3,000 worshipers to honor the memory of the 1.5 million martyrs who were massacred.

“Blessed are those who observe justice” – Psalm 106:3

Scriptures and verses from the Bible were read and psalms were recited. “Blessed are those who observe justice” – Psalm 106:3; “O Hades, where is your victory?” – 1 Corinthians 15:55 This ecumenical gathering prayed for Armenia’s justice and sought the Armenians’ victory as His Holiness Pope Francis’ Sunday Holy Mass service statement on the Armenian Genocide was quoted.

The ecumenical service dedicated for the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide was a reflection on what was said by His Holiness Pope Francis I, only two days earlier. Sunday, April 12, 2015, Pope Francis’ words echoed worldwide when he stated, “Concealing or denying evil is like allowing a wound to keep bleeding without bandaging it.” He made a public appearance at a Mass in the Armenian Catholic rite at Peter’s Basilica, attended by the Armenian president and church leaders, to recognize the Armenian Genocide. This resulted in an international impact and brought historical awareness to the world of the suffering caused upon Armenians by the Ottomans. Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan stated the Pope’s comments on the genocide sent a powerful message to the international community.

In response to Pope Francis’ Armenian Genocide claim, Turkey reacted with anger.  After the Pope described the mass killing of Armenians under the Ottoman forces in WWI as “genocide”, Turkey recalled its envoy to the Vatican because they do not acknowledge their crimes against humanity to be genocide. Turkey continues to lie about the massacre of Armenians in 1915-1923 and falsely claims it was part of a civil conflict triggered by WWI.

Turkish Interior Minister Talaat told Dr. Mordtman, the Dragoman of the German Embassy in Istanbul, that Turkey’s “intent on taking advantage of the war in order to thoroughly liquidate its internal foes, i.e., the indigenous Armenians, without being thereby disturbed by foreign intervention.” -British Reports on Ethnic Cleansing in Anatolia, 1919-1922: The Armenian-Greek Section, compiled by Vartkes Yeghiayan.

Not only Turkey recalled ambassadors to Rome in Italy when Pope Francis recognized the Armenian Genocide, they also recalled ambassadors to Vienna in Austria after parties represented in parliament declared calling the massacre of Armenians 100 years ago “genocide.”

“Armenia is to be redeemed so that at last this great people, struggling through this night of terror are now given a promise of safety, a promise of justice.” – U.S. President Woodrow Wilson

Pope Francis stated a very accurate description of the Armenian people’s wounds in that without justice, our wounds remain open and will continue to bleed…

When tended to with love, a wound may heal properly. Jesus heals with love, but science has forsaken Him, while doctors claim to be the masters in healing with medicine yet they cannot tend scars. Although, in time, wounds may heal themselves, yet they leave scars that trigger our humanity’s memory, reminding us of a past wound that laid there in pain.

When causing pain, one may beg for forgiveness. Turkey, the perpetrators who committed the Armenian Genocide, still shamelessly insists on denying it without remorse.

Sticks and stones may cause wounds. But do words or scars never hurt? Yet the Pope’s “bleeding wounds” quote still echoes: “Concealing or denying evil is like allowing a wound to keep bleeding without bandaging it.”  Scars are reminder of a wound that was once there. Oh, the power of wounds: we will never forget the pain for we bleed on with every memory of the genocide. Time cannot heal our wounds. As the years pass, they continue to bleed and grow. Every lying word is like a sharp knife cutting deeper into our wounds.

Has Turkey forgotten? Does the enemy’s guilty conscience not remind them of their sins against humanity? Although a virtuous man may sin, he may still ask for forgiveness so that these wounds may heal; he may repent to remain human.

Unlike beasts, Man has a conscience. A wound caused by the virtuous Man is no comparison to that of a beast’s. A heartless man will never be Man, rather a beast who immerses in evil and needs to be healed. However, our high-end doctors are unable to heal the evil of a beast. A beast heals no wounds, feels neither love nor compassion, and does not bow before God asking for forgiveness.

Our scars remain within ourselves and trigger the most painful or peaceful memories. The blood isn’t visible but our pain lurks around, reminding humanity of the cruelty, murders, sufferings, and atrocities. Although our memories are distanced; love will be the healer of our wounds.

“O Hades, where is your victory?”

“[Turkey] Go ahead, destroy Armenia. See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” – William Saroyan

Dear neighbors, come and bandage our bleeding wounds to help honor the memory of our sanctified 1.5 million martyrs in obtaining Greater Wilsonian Armenia. “Blessed are those who observe justice.”

–    Rachel Melikian, Former GCC Woman of the Year

About Rachel Melikian
Rachel Melikian is a former recipient of the ASGCC Woman of the Year award which acknowledges exceptional leadership skills and involvement in the campus community. She has a passion for philosophy.

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