Rep. Waxman Statement Commemorating the Armenian Genocide
Commemorating the Armenian Genocide
Rep. Henry A. Waxman
April 24, 2012
Mr. Speaker. Today, we gather to remember the genocide against the Armenian people. Although the generation that experienced these atrocities has passed, their suffering has been prolonged by the continued efforts to silence their cries and deny that a genocide occurred.
When words can help bring comfort to those who suffer, silence isolates and inflicts pain. When time marches forward and history becomes more distant, silence erodes the memory of those who were lost. When affirmation and recognition could prevent such a tragedy from being repeated, silence allows the perpetrators of genocide to assume their actions will meet neither obstacle nor objection. Thus, the ongoing efforts of the Turkish leadership to silence discussion of the Armenian genocide inflict yet another cruelty.
We owe it to the victims of the Armenian genocide, the survivors and their descendants to resist such censorship. That is why I am an original cosponsor of H.Res. 304, a resolution to reaffirm the U.S. historical record on the Armenian genocide and our own government’s bold role protesting the atrocities as they unfolded.
Genocide is not a unique feature of the 20th century, a momentary aberration of human morality. Genocides have continued to occur in the 21st century, and today, we are reminded of our moral obligation to speak out and take action to stop such atrocities and the immense repercussions of our choices.
Today, we will not be silent.