April 24th, a little known holiday to Americans but quite significant to Armenians around the world, is coming soon. It is a day for both native Armenians and Armenians that have spread out all over the world as a result of the Armenian diaspora to commemorate the tragic events surrounding the Armenian genocide.
The genocide, conducted by the Young Turks regime (of Turkey) against ethnic Armenians, officially lasted from 1915-1923, though skirmishes were first documented in 1896. Although the figures are disputed, it is widely held that over 1.5 million Armenians were killed in Turkey's ethnic cleansing/pan-arabism movement against Armenia's Christian population. The Turks unjustly seized 90% of Armenia's lands, which today are arid and resource-deficient--while Turkey's economy booms (the treaty that the United States failed to help enforce is detailed here).
A common method employed by the Turks was death marches, where they would raid homes in the middle of the night and bring men, women, and children to the desert, where they would be systematically shot, dismembered, and disposed of.
*The precedent set by the Armenian Genocide is not insignificant. Hitler once spoke of how nobody stopped or took action against the Turks as a result of the Armenian genocide, so what would happen to him? The rest is history.
The United States STILL does not "officially" recognize the genocide either, although Obama promised he would.
The importance of recognizing genocide is critical. Genocide did not stop after World War I or World War II. It has been and remains a key international issue. Thus, I will be protesting in front of the White House on April 24th, in an effort to increase awareness of the first genocide of the 20th century and to raise attention in what better place than Washington D.C.
If anyone wants to join me--by all means.