By Aaron Dentel-Post
Special to the Mirror-Spectator
BOSTON — A commemoration of the 97th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide was held on Friday, April 20, in the House Chamber in the State House. Speakers ranging from politicians to humanitarian activists remembered and paid tribute to the 1.5 million victims of the Armenian Genocide at the hands of the Ottoman Empire.
“We will never forget the million and a half Armenians killed, and we must never allow the world to forget,” said Robert DeLeo, speaker of the House of Representatives.
The large Armenian population in Massa-chusetts and especially Watertown, Mass., give the remembrance special significance in the Commonwealth. The ceremony also included resolutions to recognize the achievements of former state Senator Steven A. Tolman and the Armenian-American playwright Joyce Van Dyke, whose work, “Deported/a dream play,” is a tribute to her grandmother’s life during and after the Genocide.
Khatchig Mouradian, editor of the Armenian Weekly and program director of the Armenian Genocide Program at the Center for the Study of Genocide, Conflict Resolution, and Human Rights at Rutgers University, gave the keynote address.
Mouradian, who has lectured extensively on the Armenian Genocide, said that it was still affecting people today.
“Much of what transpired decades ago, is still very much with us now,” he said. “Not only in survivors and the descendents of survivors, but also in societies of the descendents of the perpetrators and the governments.”