So. Just a little personal reflection since it’s the day we remember the people lost in the Armenian Genocide.
I’m ¼th Armenian, and it came from my paternal grandfather’s side of the family. My great grandparents were named Sarkis and Nazlie. They immigrated to America some time before the genocide and lived in Boston, where they were known as “William and Natalie”. I saw a picture of them once and all I really remember was that Sarkis had a wicked awesome stache and my grandpa as a baby was in a really weird dress. I think they ran some kind of shop in Boston to support themselves before my grandpa went on to study at MIT (he was a pretty smart dude, and I think my appreciation for architecture and art came from him). And that is pretty much all I know about them. I’m not sure how much my grandfather was told about his family history, but he didn’t tell any of my family all that much.
Anyways, what I still find very unsettling is that if I wanted to look it up on something like ancestry.com or whatever, I couldn’t.
Anything further than my great grandparent’s names in their immigration documents, any relatives they might have had, where they might have been living, all of that family history is just gone…
I’m not as upset as some people still are because it happened so long ago now. Anyone who actually lived through it or took part in it is long gone. It isn’t like it is something that has personally affected me, because I am 3 generations removed from that event and living in an entirely different country.
But what really does upset me is how people still fail to recognize it as a genocide. The Turkish government still reacts to the issue like how a child would deny they did something bad when caught red handed a second later. And because America has some kind of ongoing relationship with them, they won’t call it a genocide either. That’s really fucking sad to me.
So between that and my maternal grandfather’s stories about WWII as a 15 year old kid, I remember how stupidly lucky I am to even exist today.