Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day

Every year on April 24 most of the world remembers the Armenian Genocide, but not everyone does. The genocide lasted two years and resulted in about 1.5 million deaths of Armenian men, women, and children. With such a large number of deaths, how could any country deny this event?

The Ottoman Empire in Turkey began campaigning the mass deportation and killing of Armenians during World War I. Beginning in 1915, these acts began. The first phase included the killing of the male Armenian population through forced labor and enlisting them into the army. The second phase included death marches in the Syrian desert with Armenian women, children, and elderly. Those who were deported were killed at concentration camps through mass burnings, drownings, and physician’s experiments. It is acknowledged as one of the first modern genocides, but only by 29 countries. Turkey denies the event ever happened and not even the United States acknowledges the event in order to protect its alliance with Turkey. Pennridge student Mark Yilanjian, who is of Armenian descent, believes that “It’s just a bad coverup like any other empire that committed a genocide…I don’t like it but I don’t think it’ll ever change”.

For the countries that do acknowledge genocide, they remember it ever year on April 24. Armenian genocide remembrance ceremonies happen all over the world. Marches, speakers, church services are just some of the activities that take place to remember the event. Plaques, sculptures, memorials have been built in various locations worldwide.

Another Pennridge student, Makenzy Portney, is also of Armenian descent. She believes that the genocide should be talked about more, specifically in schools. She claims that “it’s the second most taught genocide yet most people don’t know about it. Genocide needs to be more on the forefront of our education other than just the Holocaust [so that we] understand it and make sure it doesn’t happen again”. Just like we spend a long time on the Holocaust in history class, the same should be done for lesser known genocides like the one in Armenia. The best way to honor the victims of the Armenian genocide is to educate people, and not just on April 24.