WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA-14), co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues and one of two members of Congress with Armenian heritage, released the following statement in recognition of The Armenian Genocide Observance.

“Today marks the 103rd anniversary of the first genocide of the 20th Century. Over 1.5 million Armenian, men, women, and children were systematically slaughtered, destroying families, communities, and religious sites. As the atrocities were carried out, the international community failed to heed pleas for help and sealed the fates of millions.

That is why it’s so important that Congress and the U.S. government recognize this attempt by Ottoman leaders to extinguish the Armenian people. We must set an example of moral leadership so that other countries will acknowledge the Armenian Genocide, and so that Armenia can close this painful chapter in their history and continue to grow and thrive.

Moving forward often requires painful wrestling with the past so that we do not repeat our mistakes. It is well past-time for us to rectify our failure to recognize this international tragedy, and honor the lives lost and the damage done to the survivors.”