On Sunday, April 23, His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan, Prelate, gave the invocation at the Times Square commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, organized by the Knights and Daughters of Vartan. See below the text of the invocation:
O Almighty Lord and Heavenly Father,
We thank you that, after the storm and rain of last night and this morning, you gave us this beautiful spring day.
We thank you for this opportunity of gathering at Times Square, this crossroads of the world, to invoke the 108th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and to render respectful tribute to our one and half million martyrs who became the victims of cruel massacres and deportations executed by the Ottoman Turks.
By looking backwards and remembering these atrocities, we are neither galvanizing hatred nor keeping ourselves in captivity of the past, but rather looking always positively forward to a future of justice and peace, cooperation and prosperity, as the Psalmist says: “Righteousness and peace will kiss each other. Faithfulness will spring up from the ground, and righteousness will look down from the sky” (Ps 10-11).
For over a century, our forefathers, and many of us in our own lifetime too, have lived and marched through the valley of painful sorrow expecting that the perpetrators and their descendants, realizing the scale of their inhuman acts, would acknowledge the severity of their crimes, apologize for them, and make retribution. Unfortunately, instead of narrowing the abyss of misfortune, they have been widening it by denial of their audacious deeds and distorting history. Moreover, in the last couple of years the world has been witnessing continuous death and annihilation threats by Turkey and its ally Azerbaijan against the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabagh) and Armenia.
Amid this gloom and uncertainty, we are comforted, O Lord, that Your providential care has never ceased to shower upon your children, the people of Mount Ararat, the hosting land of Noah’s Ark.
We are grateful, O Lord, for Your Spirit has ever energized our dreams to walk from the death marches of Deir–ez-Zor to the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.
We are thankful that You have shown your mercy through all statesmen and stateswomen who believe and are committed to ensuring that justice prevails.
We believe that our cause is the cause of all minorities in the world who are silently suffering the scars of injustice, discrimination, and dictatorship.
We will walk despite of all denials, distortions, and oppressions, for:
Our patience is deeper than the oceans and our aspirations are higher than the mountains,
Our will and commitment are as solid as granite,
Our dream and goal are as pure as “in yonder valley the myrtle breathes its fragrance into space”, as the great poet, artist, and philosopher Gibran Khalil Gibran says.
May we carry our yoke consciously and willingly for the ultimate victory of truth, justice, and peace.