9/22 Remembering the Armenian Genocide
“Reflect on your family’s history, your heritage, the trauma, hardships and successes your ancestors may have went through years and even decades ago.”
This post was particularly potent for me because I recently visited a museum in Minnesota about the Armenian Genocide. Even though I don’t have Armenian heritage, my uncle is Armenian and my cousins and I walked through the halls of the gallery with him, so I feel called to share about the experience. To know it was real is to read the testimonials from the many families who donated artifacts for the exhibit. Simple trinkets, combs or coins, were saved as the only remaining pieces of an entire village. Keys to doors that were burned to the ground, necklaces from loved ones who were starved, abused, tortured and murdered, these are the last physical things from the ghosts of the past. I never understood the cold brutality with which an entire nation was erased until I slowly read through the family histories. It is salt on a very real wound that the US does not recognize this was a genocide.
We grew up in New England where there is a plethora of different cultures; even downtown Boston has an art installation memorial for the Holocaust. You walk through eerie chambers of glass as smoke comes up from the grates beneath your feet and you read the names written in icy letters as you accept, mourn, and remember the genocide.
So, what is it like for Armenians to live in a country that doesn’t even recognize this past—as if it is some agenda to “believe” in global warming, war, or threats?
I cannot begin to imagine…but I can remember with them. I can talk about the hardships that I have learned about and offer loving kindness to all.