April 25, 2018 - 12:01 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - U.S. president Donald Trump in a statement published on Tuesday, April 24 failed to call the massacre of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Turks genocide and denounced the "Meds Yeghern" instead, a phrase in Armenian which means a 'great calamity.'
President Ronald Reagan is the only sitting U.S. president to have used the word "genocide" in describing the atrocities, and he called on others to follow through on an official recognition -- but neither Congress nor subsequent Presidents did this.
"Today we commemorate the Meds Yeghern, one of the worst mass atrocities of the 20th century, when one and a half million Armenians were deported, massacred, or marched to their deaths in the final years of the Ottoman Empire. We recall the horrific events of 1915 and grieve for the lives lost and the many who suffered," Trump said.
"We also take this moment to recognize the courage of those individuals who sought to end the violence, and those who contributed to aiding survivors and rebuilding communities, including the U.S. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, Henry Morgenthau, who sought to end the violence and later raised funds through the Near East Relief to help the Armenian people. We note with deep respect the resilience of the Armenian people, so many of whom built new lives in the United States and have made countless contributions to our country.
"As we honor the memory of those who suffered, we also reflect on our commitment to ensure that such atrocities are not repeated. We underscore the importance of acknowledging and reckoning with painful elements of the past as a necessary step towards creating a more tolerant future.
"On this solemn day, we stand with the Armenian people throughout the world in honoring the memory of those lost and commit to work together to build a better future."
On Tuesday, April 24, Armenians worldwide commemorated the 103rd anniversary of the Genocide which began in the Ottoman Empire in 1915 and continued until 1923. Some three dozen countries, hundreds of local government bodies and international organizations have so far recognized the killings of 1.5 million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as Genocide. Turkey denies to this day.