The Armenian Genocide may have occurred 95 years ago, but for community members such as Tzolag Hovsepian, the atrocious crimes Armenians fell victim to remain burned in their mind’s eye.
“By the time our people reached the deserts of Syria, half had already died from starvation,” recalled Mr. Hovsepian, whose family fell victim to the death marches ordered by the Ottoman government. “They would gather us all and, one by one, kill us,” he added as he was flooded with the renewed grief of remembering the past.
Now in his 90’s, Mr. Hovsepian is still adamant about the need to take part in Armenian Genocide commemorative activities such as the AYF’s protest this Saturday in front of the Turkish Consulate.
He has made it his life’s goal to never forget the murder of his ancestors, and to strive to achieve justice for their memories. “From 1966 on, I’ve attended commemorations to pay my respects to the 1.5 million Armenians killed and I plan on attending again to lay a flower at the memorial in respect to my lost family members.”
In light of Turkey’s denial of the Armenian Genocide, Mr. Hovsepian heatedly explained that, “It was impossible on April 24, to gather all the Armenian intellectuals in one place without a premeditated thought.” On the eve of April 24, 1915, more than 250 Armenian intellectuals, including prominent Ottoman Parliamentary members such as Krikor Zohrab, were rounded up and murdered as part of the Turkish government’s plan to systematically eradicate the Armenian population.
“Several European countries have recognized the Armenian Genocide,” he continued, “This is because we have proof on our side. Look at the US National Archives, look at the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times from those years – the proof is there.”
To stand with Mr. Hovsepian and countless others who will honor the memory of our fallen this April 24, visit www.AYFwest.org.