Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
Today marks a dark day in history... one that for some reason has been widely ignored and denied. On this day 100 years ago the Ottoman Empire ruled by the Turks (modern day Turkey) began rounding up Armenian men, women and children for execution. When it was all said and done 1.5 million Armenians were killed.
Today, a 100 years later the descendants of the surviving Armenians are still fighting to have the genocide recognized by the world. This past weekend all across the country people gathered to bring to light the Armenian Genocide. They held walks thru their cities in an attempt to educate people and bring attention to what happened. Here in Philadelphia, people gathered on Independence Mall, the birthplace of the American dream.
The Armenians were killed not because they did something wrong, but because they practiced a different religion than the Muslim Turks who were in power. The Armenians were Christians.
A few weeks ago the pope acknowledged the Armenian genocide and called on other world leaders to do the same. Whether or not the world ever admits what really happened to 1.5 million people, the truth will still be there.
Today as we pause to remember the countless lives lost, I think it's also important to remember how important it is to be tolerant and accepting. We may not believe in the same God. We may not be the same color. We may not speak the same language. However, we are all human and human life is valuable... even when we disagree.
Saturday here in Philadelphia, while a remembrance and call to action... was also a celebration of all that we can find hope in.