On Friday April 24 Armenians from around the world commemorated the Armenian Genocide that occurred 100 years ago in 1915. During and after the first world war, the Ottoman Empire, which is present day Turkey, systematically killed 1.5 million Armenians. Until today, the Turkish government denies that this was a genocide and claim that all the deaths were a result of the wars that were occurring at the time. Not only were Armenians effected by this, but so were the Greeks, Kurds and Assyrians of the region. The US government also denies that this was a genocide, however 43 out of the 50 states have officially announced that they recognize the events of 1915. Today, there are 11 million Armenians worldwide with only 3 million residing in Armenia. This has created a strong diaspora that has strong ties to its homeland. Every year we come out in droves and try to educate the world on the atrocities of 1915 and every year feels like more and more people are gaining awareness of our cause. This year however, felt like a major breakthrough. Never have I seen so much coverage of the Genocide. Everyone from Bill Maher, John Oliver, the Pope, and Vladamir Putin were talking about the Armenian Genocide. Seeing 130,000 people, Armenians and non-Armenians, marching on the streets in Los Angeles, my hometown, was very touching. Than to see thousands of people around the world also demonstrating in the streets, the amount of support received throughout gave me goosebumps. The Eiffel Tower and the Colosseum in Rome dimmed their lights. The Empire State Building lit its lights to Red, Blue and Orange, the colors of the Armenian flag. Seeing all this coverage is proof that when people unite, eventually their voices will be heard.
All over the world, we see many people demonstrating for various causes. Unfortunately, a lot of people will tune out the message and go about their daily lives. However, with persistence and patience, it is possible to reach an audience. I urge all these movements to fight on, because at the end of the day, we are all on the side of humanity. Everyone wants a better future, without standing up for what we believe in, change will never be possible. I would like to thank everyone for their overwhelming support and for those of you who have lost faith in society, I would like for them to think about moments like these and realize that there are a lot of good people with good intentions hoping to make the world a better place.