By Daphne Abeel
Special to the Mirror-Spectator
WATERTOWN, Mass. — American presidents act with disheartening uniformity when it comes to the Armenian Genocide. In the past 30 years, each national leader, from Jimmy Carter to the present incumbent, in campaign mode, has promised the Armenian community that the Genocide would be acknowledged on April 24, and each year, whoever is president avoids the “g” word. Thus did President Barack Obama continue the monotonous obeisance to Turkey, America’s strategic ally, when he spoke in Asheville, NC on Saturday, April 24, calling the events of 1915 “one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century.”
In contrast, here in Massachusetts, the highest statewide elected official, Gov. Deval Patrick, has made it clear that he fully supports the recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
On Sunday, April 25, entering the Charles Mosesian Youth and Cultural Center of St. James Armenian Church, in tandem with Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate, Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), Patrick opened his brief remarks before a packed audience of nearly 600 people by saying, “I stand with you as family.”
Patrick noted that, prior to the ceremony, he had taken the opportunity to tour the church and to learn that the sanctuary was built during the Great Depression, a time of economic disaster, and remarked that its construction was “a symbol of the tenacity of the Armenian community. That a sanctuary that beautiful was undertaken when the country was on its back is proof of what the human spirit is capable of under the most difficult circumstances.”
He encouraged the audience to believe in a brighter future for the Armenian Cause and quoted his grandmother, who once told him, “Hope for the best, and work for it.”