Bill Clinton

April 24, 1996

April 24, 1996 -- Armenian Remembrance Day

Eighty-one years ago today, in the city of Constantinople, more than two hundred Armenian civic, political, and intellectual leaders were arrested, deported and subsequently executed. That day marked the beginning of one of this century's darkest moments.

I join with Armenians around the world, on this solemn day, in commemorating the senseless deportations and massacres of one and a half million Armenians that took place from 1915-1923 in the Ottoman Empire. Tragically, our century has repeatedly borne witness to man's senseless inhumanity to man. Together we mourn the terrible loss of so many innocent lives.

Despite this tragedy, your faith and courage helped you survive and prosper. You never lost sight of your Armenian heritage; you preserved it and passed it on through the generations. As a result, Armenian Americans have made immense contributions to America's prosperity, science, and culture. Your great spirit also kept alive the dream of an independent Armenia and helped to overcome Soviet rule. Today, that same spirit is helping to build a free and prosperous state in your homeland. Your contributions around the would, and now especially in Armenia, honor the memory of those who died unjustly in the massacres.

As we rededicate ourselves to the future of Armenia as a free and prosperous state secured by lasting peace with its neighbors, I extend to Armenians across the globe my heartfelt wishes for a meaningful observance.

Bill Clinton