SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It has been a historic week for Armenians here in western Massachusetts and around the world.
There was a sense of validation and gratitude among the clergy and worshipers at the Sunday service at St. Mark’s Armenian Apostolic Church in Springfield.
Recognizing that President Biden set the record straight this weekend and said what they knew all along, that the Turkish Ottoman Empire had committed genocide, killing over 1.5 million Armenians at the beginning of the 20th century.
“This is definitely an extremely moving, monumental and historic day,” said Wilbraham’s Ani Jermakian. “It is very moving because above all, for those who grew up in this country but who are Armenians… .. that this country officially recognizes it, finally after 106 years, it is what we expected.”
Deacon Pastor Timothy Aznavourian told 22News he was not surprised the Turkish government has vehemently criticized President Biden for admitting the genocide against the Armenian people.
“The recognition of our genocide is not just something that happened in the past, it is in fact a reality that is happening now,” Deacon Aznavourian said. “Because Turkey, even to this day, has been encouraged to continue attacking and killing the Armenian people, Armenian churches and Armenian cultural heritage. “
So now, for the first time, the White House has acknowledged what generations of Armenians have known for over 100 years. In the words of an Armenian-American worshiper, “It’s moving, monumental and historic.”