President Biden kept his campaign promise and marked the anniversary of the Armenian massacre by calling it a genocide.
In a statement provided to PoliticusUSA by the White House, President Biden said:
Each year on this day, we remember the lives of all those who died in the Ottoman-era Armenian genocide and recommit ourselves to preventing such an atrocity from ever again occurring. Beginning on April 24, 1915, with the arrest of Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople by Ottoman authorities, one and a half million Armenians were deported, massacred, or marched to their deaths in a campaign of extermination. We honor the victims of the Meds Yeghern so that the horrors of what happened are never lost to history. And we remember so that we remain ever-vigilant against the corrosive influence of hate in all its forms.
Of those who survived, most were forced to find new homes and new lives around the world, including in the United States. With strength and resilience, the Armenian people survived and rebuilt their community. Over the decades Armenian immigrants have enriched the United States in countless ways, but they have never forgotten the tragic history that brought so many of their ancestors to our shores. We honor their story. We see that pain. We affirm the history. We do this not to cast blame but to ensure that what happened is never repeated.
Today, as we mourn what was lost, let us also turn our eyes to the future—toward the world that we wish to build for our children. A world unstained by the daily evils of bigotry and intolerance, where human rights are respected, and where all people are able to pursue their lives in dignity and security. Let us renew our shared resolve to prevent future atrocities from occurring anywhere in the world. And let us pursue healing and reconciliation for all the people of the world.
The American people honor all those Armenians who perished in the genocide that began 106 years ago today.
As CNN’s Jim Acosta noted, “CNN: President Biden has officially marked anniversary of 1915 massacre of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire as a genocide, fulfilling a campaign promise. Biden’s predecessors had stopped short of using the word.”
Previous presidents wouldn’t call it a genocide, because they were afraid of upsetting Turkey. President Biden is coming up on his first one hundred days in office, and the early part of term has been defined by a sincere desire to make things better, keeping his promises, and doing the right thing.
Americans could be watching a very special presidency unfolding before our eyes.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association