Saturday, April 25, 2009

Armenian Martyrs Day

Yesterday I attended services and a dinner at St. John Armenian Church in Southfield, Michigan. Both were being held in commemoration of Armenian Martyrs Day, April 24. For some background on the 1915 deaths of ethnic Armenians living within the Ottoman-Turk empire, watch Ivan Watson's CNN report. (The accompanying story is here.)

The dinner included a wonderful talk by a very close friend of Antonia Arslan, author of Skylark Farm--a novel that traces one family's experience during the 1915 genocide. Here is a link:

As the video and story above make clear, whether the word "genocide" may be attached to the events of April 1915 is the subject of tremendous international controversy and debate. Even President Obama stopped short of using the word in his official statement released Friday afternoon, despite a campaign pledge to officially recognize the deaths as genocide.

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