Last week, South Florida Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL) became the latest cosponsor of H. Res. 220, a resolution expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding past genocides.
The resolution states that “the lessons of past genocides should be applied to help prevent future war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.” It reaffirms the 2016 resolutions passed in the House and Senate that recognized the ISIS killings of “Christians, Yezidis, and other religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq and Syria” as genocide, as well as the decades-long U.S. record on the Armenian Genocide.
In a series of tweets announcing his support for the legislation, Congressman Deutch stated that “Over 100 years after Armenian Genocide, it is our responsibility to continue to learn from this dark moment in history.”
“Over 100 years after the Armenian Genocide, it is our responsibility to continue to learn from this dark moment in history which caused unimaginable devastation and irreparable pain to the Armenian people,” Rep. Deutch told FLArmenians.com. “As we’ve learned from survivors of the Holocaust, keeping alive the memory of those lost and retelling the story of this genocide is essential in working to prevent history from repeating itself. Unfortunately, the recent genocide against the Yazidis by ISIS reminds us that we still have far to go,” he said.
Deutch, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is only the second Florida lawmaker to cosponsor H. Res. 220. Armenian Caucus Vice-Chair Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) led the effort in the introduction of H. Res. 220 back in March. It currently has 52 cosponsors and has been referred to the House Foreign Affairs Committee. A date has not yet been set for a committee vote on the bill.
By Mercedes Gechidjian
FLArmenians Miami Contributor
The Armenian Student Association (ASA) at the University of Miami (UM), organized a “Walk for Justice” this past Saturday, April 23, 2016, sponsored by the Armenian Genocide Commemoration, Inc. and Florida Armenians, LLC. The walk began at 6:30PM alongside Lake Osceola at the University of Miami.
ASA invited the broader Armenian and non-Armenian community to “Walk for Justice,” to demand international recognition of the Armenian Genocide of 1915 and to condemn all crimes against humanity. Marchers were holding signs with statements such as “We Remember and Demand” and “1915 Never Again”, in addition to waving Armenian flags as they walked around the University’s historic lake. Participants had a common idea-to march for the recognition of the massacres of 1915. “It is wonderful to have a walk respecting the victims of the Genocide in our own campus,” said Max Armour, a University of Miami senior of non-Armenian descent.
The Association’s E-Board decided to celebrate the lives of their ancestors by performing and teaching Khochari to all the participants. “We want to celebrate their lives, to remember them dancing in the streets of Van and Adana,” said ASA member Guadalupe Gechidjian, “I am extremely proud of this organization and the event we were able to organize.”
Those in attendance were able to enjoy exquisite Armenian appetizers, such as dolma, lavash rolls, baklava, gata, and pockets with basturma, cooked by Sirvard Saakian, a Member of the National Registry of Food Safety Professionals in Los Angeles. In addition, participants received a free t-shirt with the Forget-Me-Not flower in commemoration of the 100+1 anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
The UM-Armenian Student Association would like to extend a big THANK YOU to the following individuals: Reverend Paren Avedikian, Viviana Horigian, Iren and Arsen Gasparyan, and Sirvard Saakian.