(TFC) – Armenians gathered in Little Armenia, Hollywood to commemorate the 103rd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. The genocide began on April 24, 1915, took about 1.5 million lives. The event at Little Armenia started the march at Sunset Blvd and ended at the same location. Speakers such as Dean Cain, Rep. Adam Schiff, and many others were in attendance. The march was led by the Unified Young Armenians, an Armenian organization with offices in Glendale, Calif.
Turkey denies the genocide to this day, prompting a chant of “Shame on Turkey” during the march. The denial of genocide is hollow. Raphael Lemkin, the man who is credited with coining the term “genocide” was heavily influenced by his studies of the Ottoman Empire’s (present-day Turkey) extermination of Armenians.
He wrote in his autobiography:
“Then one day I read in the newspapers that all Turkish war criminals were to be released… The Turkish criminals released from Malta dispersed all over the world. The most frightful among them was Talaat Pasha, the minister of the interior of Turkey, who was identified with the destruction of the Armenian people… One day he was stopped in the street by a young Armenian with the name Tehlirian. After identifying Talaat Pasha, Tehlirian shot him saying, ‘This is for my mother.’”
Lemkin defines genocide as:
“Generally speaking, genocide does not necessarily mean the immediate destruction of a nation, except when accomplished by mass killings of all members of a nation. It is intended rather to signify a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves. The objectives of such a plan would be the disintegration of the political and social institutions, of culture, language, national feelings, religion, and the economic existence of national groups, and the destruction of the personal security, liberty, health, dignity, and even the lives of the individuals belonging to such groups.”
During the Armenian genocide, the government engaged the in wholesale massacre of men. Women, children, the elderly, and the sick were marched through the Syrian deserts as a “deportation” without food and water. Though they had military “escorts” the victims were raped, robbed, and eventually massacred.
It is considered by many to be the first modern genocide.