A bipartisan letter circulated by the Armenian Caucus leadership to President Joe Biden, urging him to unequivocally affirm the Armenian Genocide and stand by his record and word on this important human rights issue, closed today with over 100 Members of Congress as cosigners.
The letter reads:
Dear Mr. President:
Later this month, on April 24, the world will mark the 106th anniversary of the first days of the
Armenian Genocide, the systematic murder of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire
from 1915 to 1923, and the displacement of many more. Yet for decades, while leaders around
the world recognize the first genocide of the 20th Century, the President of the United States has
remained silent. We join with the proud Armenian American community and all of those who
support truth and justice in asking that you clearly and directly recognize the Armenian Genocide
in your April 24 statement.
We know that this is an issue you are well acquainted with from your time in the Senate and as
Vice President, including shepherding S.J.Res. 212 (designating April 24, 1990, as a National
Day of Remembrance of the 75th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide) through the Judiciary
Committee in 1989. We also appreciate that as Vice President you attended the centenary
anniversary of the Armenian Genocide in 2015 at the National Cathedral. It was during the
centennial that His Holiness Pope Francis at Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica said this about the
Armenian Genocide: “Concealing or denying evil is like allowing a wound to keep bleeding
without bandaging it.”
The historic fact of what occurred a century ago is not in serious dispute. American diplomats of
the period documented the mass slaughter of the Armenians, though they had no word for what
they were witnessing. It was only decades later that Raphael Lemkin coined the term “genocide”
and did so specifically with the attempted extermination of the Armenian people in mind.
In accurately describing the Genocide this year, you will be joining both the House and Senate
which overwhelmingly passed resolutions doing so in 2019. Additionally, the Library of
Congress has already taken the important step of cataloging books on the subject under
historically accurate Armenian Genocide subject heading.
Mr. President, as you said last year in your April 24 statement, “Silence is complicity.” The
shameful silence of the United States Government on the historic fact of the Armenian Genocide
has gone on for too long, and it must end. We urge you to follow through on your commitments
and speak the truth.