By: Gev Iskajyan
The 24th of April has come and gone for the 97th time since the Turkish government’s failed attempts to eradicate the Armenian race. That’s 1,164 months since the systematic murder, rape, and deportation of over a million and half Armenians began in the city of Constantinople.
849,720 hours since hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children marched through the scorching Syrian desert only to meet their end.
Yet we have allocated one day of our entire year to demand justice. Just one day to contain anger, frustration, and the struggle to right a wrong.
Many argue that Armenian efforts for justice have been stagnated by divisions amongst ourselves. However, our limitations are not based on differing ideology or philosophies; but rather priority.
We spend 0.2 percent (1/365) of our entire annual schedule to fight injustice. With those minimal collective efforts we have managed to become one of the most influential lobby groups in the United States. Over 21 Countries and 43 States have officially recognized the Armenian Genocide. Schools and colleges across the world are educating a new generation of youth about the atrocities of 1915. With the majority of us focusing on just one day of events and commemorations, we have achieved so much. Now imagine if we worked with the same passion and fervor for two days out of the year.
This does not highlight our shortcomings or failures but rather our potential.
A single 24 hour span of pride, anger, sadness, and effort is used to condense countless years of suffering and struggle. Protesting in the streets of foreign countries, we do not need the 24th to remind us of the Genocide. We are reminded every day we wake up away from our homeland. A single date does not represent the work of the countless who seek not only recognition but justice. It does not represent the struggle of those who died defending our very existence.
We have gone so far with marginal efforts. From Congressmen and Senators who champion our cause to countries like France who defend our history, our reach is only expanding and our strength is only increasing. Our fight is only beginning.
In an age where technology has made it effortless to organize the masses and bring our individual skills together for a collective good, we are left with no excuses in the pursuit of justice. By organizing and setting our goals beyond a single day of remembrance but on realistic measures of recognition and reparations, we can multiply our growing strength.
We are the architects of our future and the tools we need are laid out for us.
As the 24th of April passes once again, we must remember that the fate of our cause is not determined by time or external forces. It is not determined by the political climate of the United States, or even by the malevolent efforts of the Turkish Government. The fate of our cause is in our hands and our hands only, and it’s going to take more than just one day to turn our fate into reality.
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