Troy, NY – Transcript of prepared remarks delivered by Mayor Patrick Madden during the 2019 Armenian Genocide Memorial Ceremony in Troy’s Riverfront Park on Wednesday, April 24th, which commemorated the 104th anniversary of the start of the Armenian Genocide.
“Good evening. I appreciate the opportunity to share this remembrance with you today. At ceremonies like this we see the best and the worst in humankind. On the one hand we witness the beauty we are capable of: the songs, the traditional dress, the art the cherished cultural traditions and yes, the food. On the other hand what brings us here is brutal ugliness in the form of unspeakable violence inflicted on one another.
“The violence visited upon the Armenian people beginning 104 years ago today was so extreme, was so systematic and premeditated as to give rise to the word “genocide”. And it was the first of three significant genocides in the 20th century.
“Though painful to call to mind we do need to periodically reflect on these egregious acts. We need to do so not only to honor the memory of those whose lives were taken. We do so also to remind ourselves of what we are still capable of.
“It is incumbent on those of us moved by and touched by these events to be the voice of those made voiceless by these atrocious acts.
“It is incumbent upon us to ensure that the suspicions, the bigotry and the fear mongering that led up to such abominations in the past can never again take root.
“It is important for us to reflect back on the atrocity that began 104 years ago today to remind ourselves of the solemn duty we have to the marginalized, the unpopular, the misunderstood regardless of how much they are like us, or how much they are different.
“The City of Troy, indeed the Capital Region, is home to a vibrant and exciting Armenian community which adds immeasurably to the culture of our Community. Your perseverance in the face of tremendous adversity is commendable and one that I hope you will pass down from generation to generation.
“This evening, on behalf of the citizens of Troy I would like to present you with this proclamation which commemorates this dreadful event and proclaims today, April 24, 2019, Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day in Troy, NY.
“Thank you for allowing me to share this time with you today.”
Photos available via Flickr: https://flic.kr/s/aHskQMbrVz
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John Salka, Deputy Director of Public Information
[email protected] / (518) 279-7131