The horror that the Armenians experienced in 1915, under Ottoman rule, did not have a name nor a definition when it happened. We had to await the arrival of a Polish Jewish jurist, Raphael Lemkin, to the US, to define that monumental horror as a genocide.
Ever since, Armenians have been waiting for justice, often fighting for it.
The Armenians lost two thirds of their population along with their historic homeland; those who were not killed were exiled from their habitat.
Some historians, feigning objectivity, explain away the action as a historic necessity for the Ottoman rulers who wanted to save the empire. For the Armenians, that represents millions of corpses in the Syrian desert and in the Euphrates River. It represents poet Daniel Varoujan and writer and parliament member Krikor Zohrab being slaughtered by axes. The horror was so overwhelming that it defied human comprehension. The blow was so devastating that for 50 years, Armenians were left licking their wounds and putting their lives together. The year 1965, the 50th anniversary of the Genocide, was a watershed when Armenians began to really understand what had happened to them. A struggle began to emerge from the devastation and a fight for historic justice along was launched as well as the conscious effort to build communities around the world.
Armenia, as a member of the Soviet Union, was limited in contributing to the reconstruction of historic memory.
The challenge was three-pronged: