Vital Harmonics

Armenian Heritage Month -- April 2024

Armenian Heritage Month -- April 2024
The Armenian Genocide - a stain on the conscience of humanity, a blight on the soul of Turkey. It's a travesty that still festers, a wound that refuses to heal, a crime that cries out for justice. And yet, the Turkish government persists in its denial, its obstinacy a affront to the very notion of morality.

In 1915, the Ottoman Empire, in a frenzy of bloodlust, unleashed a systematic campaign of slaughter upon the Armenian people. Men, women, children - all were fair game for the sword, the bullet, and the bayonet. The death toll mounted, a staggering 1.5 million souls lost to the abyss of hatred. And for what? Merely for being Armenian, for being different, for being a perceived threat to the dominant culture.

But the Armenian Genocide was not just a crime of the past; its legacy continues to haunt Turkey to this day. The refusal to acknowledge, to apologize, and to make amends is a ongoing affront to the Armenian people, a slap in the face to the memories of the victims, and a stain on the very fabric of Turkish society.

And what of reparations, that most basic of moral obligations? Turkey owes a debt to the Armenian people, a debt that can never fully be repaid, but must nonetheless be acknowledged. Turkey must confront its dark past, must educate its citizens about the truth of the Armenian Genocide, and must work to create a culture of tolerance and understanding. The Armenian people have suffered enough; it's time for Turkey to take responsibility, to show the world that it is capable of moral growth, of confronting its shadow, and of making amends.

The world watches, and the world waits. For Turkey to do the right thing, to take the first steps on the long journey of redemption. For the Armenian people to finally receive the justice they so rightly deserve. And for humanity to know that, even in the darkest of times, there is always a glimmer of hope, a chance for forgiveness, and a path towards reconciliation.

In the words of the great Armenian poet, Yeghishe Charents, "The survivor's cry, the orphan's wail, the widow's lament - these are the only reparations we ask." Let Turkey heed this call, let it find the moral courage to confront its past, and let it work towards a future where such atrocities can never again occur. For only then can we truly say that humanity has learned from its mistakes, and that the Armenian Genocide will never be forgotten.

Joseph Van Hanovnikian MD