|The monument of the eternal flame in memory of the Armenian genocide (Source: Instagram)
Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day - April 24
The Armenian Genocide Memorial Day is held annually to commemorate the victims of the Armenian Genocide since 1915. The Armenian Genocide was a series of massacres and starvation of one and a half million Armenians by the Ottomans.
On this day hundreds of thousands of people in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, march to the Genocide Memorial located in the Tsitsernakaberd hills to lay flowers at the Eternal Flame Monument.
The date of April 24 marks the beginning of the genocide that was expressed in the expulsion of Armenian intellectuals on April 24, 1915 from Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey).
The Turks organized convoys of hundreds of thousands of people, without food and water, to the outskirts of Turkey and the Syrian desert. These marches were in fact a death sentence for most of the marchers, due to the harsh conditions and the disappearance of the eye from massacres, murders, rapes and abuses. The convoys had young men, women, children and the elderly and were escorted by Turkish army units. On the way, these units and gunmen from the nearby Turkish villages attacked the convoys, killing thousands every day. The journeys lasted many weeks, during which many died of exhaustion and starvation.
A network of 25 concentration camps was set up by the Ottoman government to get rid of the Armenians who survived the deportation marches at their final point.
The Turks used various killing methods. Women and children were loaded on boats and sunk in the sea, others were executed by fire. According to affidavits by two doctors from the city of Trabzon, buildings of two schools were used to house children who were later sent to the mezzanine floor, where they were killed by toxic gas.
The first commemoration, organized by a group of Armenian genocide survivors, was held in Istanbul in 1919 at the local Armenian St. Trinity Church. Many prominent figures in the Armenian community participated in the commemoration. After the initial commemoration in 1919, the date became the annual Memorial Day for the Armenian Genocide.
On April 9, 1975, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Joint Resolution 148 which marks April 24 as a national day commemorating the inhumanity of man to man. The decision commemorated the victims of the genocide, and especially those of Armenian ancestors who were murdered in the events of 1915, but the decision failed to pass in the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee because of President Gerald R.'s fierce opposition. Ford for what he saw as a threat to the country's strategic alliance with Turkey.
In 1988, Soviet Armenia officially adopted April 24 as a public commemoration.
In 1997 in the United States, the California State Assembly declared April 24 to be a day of remembrance for the Armenian genocide of 1915–1923, as well as for the victims of the 1988 Somgate pogrom and the 1990 Baku riots.
The Somgait pogrom was a pogrom against the Armenian population in the sea town of Sumgait in Azerbaijan by the Krabak movement. On February 27, 1988, masses of ethnic Azerbaijan massacres gathered in groups and attacked and killed Armenians in the streets and apartments. For three days the killings and widespread looting continued with the Azeri police not intervening.
Baku pogrom was a pogrom directed against the ethnic Armenian residents of Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. As of January 12, 1990, a seven-day pogrom broke out against the Armenian civilian population in Baku during which Armenians were beaten, murdered and deported from the city. There were also numerous raids on apartments, robberies and arson.
In 2015, the Canadian House of Representatives unanimously passed the M-587 proposal, proposed by Brad Butt, that April be the month of remembrance for genocide, condemnation and prevention, and set April 24 as the day of remembrance for the Armenian genocide.
On April 24, 2019, France marked its first national commemoration of the Armenian Genocide.
April 24 is also Pig In A Blanket Day
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