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On Sunday, April 21, His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan, Prelate, gave the invocation at the Times Square commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, sponsored by the Knights and Daughters of Vartan with the participation of all Armenian organizations. See below the text of the invocation:

Heavenly Father,

We thank you for making us worthy to commemorate the 109th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide at Times Square, this crossroads of the world, to invoke and to render respectful tribute to our one and half million martyrs who became the victims of cruel massacres, all kinds of abuses, and lethal deportations from their five-thousand-years old homeland executed by the Ottoman Turks. All those who question the validity of the figure of 1,500,000 victims should learn that a genocide is not defined by numbers, according to the UN Genocide Convention, but by the intent to annihilate a community, moreover, a nation.

By invoking the Armenian Genocide, we are neither galvanizing nor deepening hatred or keeping ourselves in captivity of the past, but rather looking always positively forward to the future.

Just this week, it was so comforting to learn that Germany will grant Holocaust survivors in Israel an extra amount of 238 dollars over what they have been getting all these decades. Unfortunately, Turkey, a member of NATO, pretending to be a democratic country, instead of reparations to Armenian victims, tries to distort history and justify its atrocities. That’s why this commemoration is an invitation to the authorities and citizens of Turkey to assume the responsibility of their forefathers and pave the road toward justice and peace, cooperation and prosperity.

We stand firmly on our expectations not because of post-traumatic stress disorder after what happened 109 years ago, but because, sorrowfully, last September we witnessed a new genocide in Artsakh (Nagorno Karabagh) preceded by nine months of blockade, famine, and criminal threats executed by Azerbaijan and backed by Turkey.

Turkey and Azerbaijan, its Caucasian minion, are the quintessential tribunes for all that is wrong and bad in the world. The Republic of Turkey was born from the impunity of the Armenian Genocide, while Azerbaijan came out of the massacre of Baku Armenians in 1918. Crime on an unspeakable scale, therefore, is foundational for them. In this world turned upside down, everything that’s wrong for right-minded people is worthy of praise in the darkest quarters of Ankara and Baku. Murder, pillage, looting, they are all justified under blanket excuses that “what we did in the past was not enough, we have to complete the erasure of this nation from the map.”

We are aware that the foundations of the world are gradually being shattered by the successive wars and conflicts in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and other parts, signaling us that we may be entering a new age of genocidal violence. That’s why we believe that the root of all these evils is to be found in the indifference of the Allies after World War I to recognize and punish the perpetration of the Armenian Genocide. Therefore, the commemoration of the Armenian Cause is not self-serving, but it aims to bring our share to the present state of injustice and contribute to prevent future genocides. 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.

With this understanding and spirit, we thank you, Almighty Lord, for enabling us to reach safe and sound from the deserts 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 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,

May we carry our yoke consciously and willingly for the ultimate victory of truth, justice, and peace.