April 24, 2016

Cárdenas Remarks at the Armenian Rally for Justice, Marking the 101st Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Tony Cárdenas (CA-29) delivered remarks at the Armenian National Committee of America’s Community Wide Armenian Genocide Rally for Justice.  Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:

“Hello, and thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak with you today. To the Armenian National Committee of America, thank you for your tireless efforts to ensure that the voices of the Armenian people continue to be heard.

“As we all know, L.A. is home to one of the most diverse communities in the entire United States. This community, your community, has contributed to building this nation and the Greater Los Angeles area since the late nineteenth century.

“Like many of you, my parents came here for a better and safer life. I have spent much of my time focused on family and working to uplift the communities in which I have lived. Though we may hail from a different part of this world, I stand by you today as an ally, a friend, who believes that the voices of the Armenian-American community should be heard.

“That is why, shortly after being elected into Congress, I joined the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues. I even co-sponsored a bipartisan resolution this year, calling upon our President to work toward equitable, constructive, stable, and durable Armenian-Turkish relations.

“What happened over 100 years ago was and still is an atrocity.  And what happened on April 2 when Azerbaijani military forces launched wide-spread attacks along the border of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic was a tragedy that must not be overlooked. These acts of hate are unacceptable, and we have a responsibility to call upon the highest levels of authority to take action and call these tragedies for what they are – senseless and outrageous crimes.

“We must continue to seek acknowledgment of and reconciliation from Turkey in recognizing that what happened 101 years ago was in fact Genocide and that what happened on April 2 never happens again. In order for us to move forward in good faith, everyone must admit to the truth that brought us here – even if it is an ugly truth.

“I do believe that there are opportunities for us to work together and mend our past. So I ask of you that you keep sharing your voice.  Keep organizing peaceful demonstrations. Keep moving forward and honoring your heritage. You are the light that will outshine the darkness of the past.

“If we stand together for justice – whether we are men, women, Armenian or Hispanic – I know that we can make change happen.

“Thank you for your commitment to the Armenian people. Thank you for your commitment to the greater Los Angeles communities. And thank you for your commitment to justice and to peace.”