*Armenian Youth Federation leads community-wide drive to end Turkish denial
WASHINGTON–An energetic crowd of over one hundred and fifty Armenia’s protested the Turkish government’s ongoing denial of the Armenian Genocide at a community-wide April 24 demonstration in front of the Turkish Embassy–reported the Armenian National Committee of the Greater Washington Area.
The demonstrators–including many members of the local Armenian Youth Federation "Ani" Chapter and Homenetmen chapters–gathered at Sheridan Circle–across the street from the Embassy for the three-hour rally against the Turkish government’s attempt to rewrite the history of the Genocide of more than 1.5 million Armenia’s.
The message was heard loud and clear by the Embassy and by the thousands of motorists who read the more than 100 signs on display. The crowd–ranging in age from new-born infants to the elderly–rang out with a steady rhythm of chants and sang Armenian patriotic songs.
During an address to protest attendees–AYF member Veharatch Bezdikian stressed the importance of educating others about the Genocide as part of community efforts to secure US recognition and fight against an extensive Turkish campaign to deny its past.
"The Turks will continue to funnel millions of dollars into our educational and political systems in their attempts to rewrite history," stated Bezdikian. "However–the truth is on our side and if we can fulfill our duty to defend and uphold the truth–we can ensure that no one forgets or denies the genocide of 1.5 million Armenia’s in 1915."
The protest was sponsored by the Armenian Genocide Commemorative Committee of Greater Washington and was organized by the AYF Ani Chapter.
AYF Urges Congress to Support Armenian Genocide Resolution
Earlier that day– the AYF visited the offices of all 540 members of the House and Senate to educate them about the Genocide and advocate passage of the Armenian Genocide bill (H.Con.Res.55). Each office received a fact sheet and a single red carnation with a card stating: "In remembrance of the 1.5 million victims of the Armenian Genocide. Honor their memory–Support H.Con.Res. 55."
The AYF members expressed special thanks to Representatives Frank Pallone (D-NJ)–Steve Horn (R-Calif.)–James McGovern (D-Mass.) and Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) for their participation in an hour long discussion on the House floor the previous evening in commemoration of the Armenian Genocide.
They also expressed appreciation to Rep. George Radanovich (R-Calif.) who along with Democratic Whip David Bonior (D-Mich.) introduced H.Con.Res.55.
The AYF passed out hundreds of informational flyers at Metrorail stations all over the city–with special attention to those stops near Capitol Hill. The flyers provided background information on the Armenian Genocide and called for the passage of H.Con.Res. 55.