Carrying a box of AYF protest fliers to Glendale High.
The month of April is one of late night meetings, participating in events commemorating the victims of the Armenian Genocide every day; the word hectic does not even begin to summarize it.
“A normal day” consists of phone calls draining your cell phones battery, contacting people through e-mail, facebook, twitter and other social networking sites to update them on upcoming events that they should partake in. Sleep is not a priority as all hands are on deck to organize events commemorating the Armenian Genocide in the community.
Losing sleep and going to endless meetings does not even reach the magnitude of effort my ancestors put in to keep my family Armenian. Growing up I would sit with my cousins and listen to my great-grandmother Takouhi Sarkissian tell us of her family’s road to survival, along with the stories of death that she had to endure on the way. I clearly remember sitting there as a 10 year old listening to her tell my family about the story of my great-aunt buried in sand up to her neck then stoned to death. Twelve years later the stories are fresh in my mind and are the driving force behind the reason I care so much.
Cynics state that the Armenian Genocide was in 1915, we should forget about the occurrence and instead move on, but what they don’t understand is that I can not move past it because it was not a simple act it was a crime against humanity that attempted to wipe out an entire nation of people. “Every country had casualties” or “it was a result of deportations” are not excuses in my book for 1.5 million Armenians to be stoned, raped, starved to death; it is not a mark of a government attempting to help its people survive during World War I.
This frustration is the drive behind my need to work to educate individuals, to convince friends that 95 years have passed, but the issue is still one of great importance. 95 years is simply a number, the wounds are still fresh. My great-grandmother passed away in June 1997 knowing that her family would fight to avenge the suffering she was put through losing her entire family and seeing these occurrences as a child. I will be making my voice heard at the annual protest in front of the Turkish Consulate to show that I will never forget, never give up my fight.