Assembly Statement on Armenia's 30th Independence Anniversary
Washington, D.C. - Today, we proudly mark the 30th anniversary of the independent Republic of Armenia. Before independence and since, the strength and character of the Armenian people has been tested time and again: from the Armenian Genocide of 1915 to the devastating earthquake in 1988 to the 1992 war launched by Azerbaijan, the resilience and unity of Armenians in the face of existential external threats has stood front and center. This anniversary emphasizes the critical need for that unity again. Last Fall, the Armenian people faced yet another war at the hands of Azerbaijan and with the full support of Turkey. The security of Artsakh and Armenia was undermined, and Armenians were once again subjected to the specter of genocide. Too many young lives were sacrificed defending their homes, innocent families and ancestral lands as a result of Azerbaijan’s brutal war. We salute and honor their sacrifice. It is because of their bravery and the perseverance of the Armenian people that we remain hopeful. The outpouring of support from the worldwide diaspora during this difficult period has been inspiring. It is that capacity for endurance and survival, that ability to regenerate and rebuild, that we must call upon again. Armenians across the globe know the meaning of struggle and survival, and this is the time to reach into those deepest resources of the Armenian character not just to recover from the past, but to build a stronger future, a safer nation, and ultimately a more stable region where neighbors respect the rights of people and its sacred land. Brave men and women keep watch over Armenia’s security. The displaced, the refugees, and the wounded are being cared for by fellow Armenians. Diaspora Armenians have rushed again to the aid of their countrymen - just as they did after the 1988 Spitak earthquake and just as they did during the darkened days of the blockade and the years of struggle to maintain Artsakh’s independence. These are more than signs of hope. They are the evidence that the Armenian nation has ample reserves of strength, which it must tap into wisely, strategically, and with a sound sense of investment in collective priorities. We have spoken regularly of the importance of meeting the standards of a free, open, and democratic society and of providing economic opportunity to pave the path toward a sustainable prosperity. We have called upon the U.S. government to stand by the Armenian people and we resume our calls upon our government to do so today - including the pressing issue of Armenian POWs still illegally imprisoned by Azerbaijan, which is in complete violation of the Geneva Conventions and last November’s trilateral cease-fire statement. Most of all we are committed to preventing another Armenian Genocide.
Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.