April 24, 2022: Sharing the stage with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (NY), Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Menendez (NJ), and many other political leaders and dignitaries, Dr. Shahé Navasart Sanentz of the Executive Committee of the Armenagan-Hovsepian Chapter of the Armenian Democratic Liberal Party delivered the following speech, during the 107th Armenian Genocide Commemoration, in New York’s Times Square:
Your Eminence, Reverend Fathers, distinguished leaders, honored guests, and all who have come to be with us or have joined us virtually on this commemorative day – բարեւ բոլորին.
We believe in the indispensability of justice. And, therefore, we know that our day must come. We pledge to our one-and-a-half million sainted martyrs, that we will see to it that it comes.
It is only a matter of time before the political winds shift and we will always be ready when they do. They shifted in the 1980s and with Armenian will and blood, we saw to it that both Armenia and Artsakh won independence in 91. They shifted again here, recently, and leveraging our decades-long political activism, we saw to it that both houses of Congress and then President Biden himself recognized the Armenian Genocide. In 2020, we suffered a major setback in Artsakh. But we shall overcome. We are Աւարայր. We are Սարտարապատ. Our roots in the Armenian Highlands are five millennia deep. We concede nothing and we will win.
Today, to our Turkish sisters and brothers we say: We do remember how over 100,000 of you marched in the streets of Istanbul chanting, “We are all Hrant Dink; we are all Armenian.” Therefore, we believe that just as many of your grandparents saved their Armenian neighbors’ lives during the Armenian Genocide, today, too, many of you are with us. For that, we salute you and we thank you. But brothers and sisters: When you acquire a house, you may not have built that house, but it is now your house and your responsibility. It is you who must fix anything that is wrong with it. And so, we say unto you: The Armenian Genocide is what is wrong with your house. Make it right and let the healing power of restorative justice carry us all to the day when we may live together as good neighbors in peace, once again.
Since its founding one century and one year ago, the Ramgavar Party has been in the vanguard of Armenian political life. We can taste the sweet, sunny day, when we will drink the կարմիր գինի, eat the հերիսէ, and dance the քոչարի, in Վան! And the Armenian tricolor will wave on Mt. Արարատ. And we know that with our united, concerted, and unrelenting efforts, we will make our dream – our Մեծ Երազ – come true.
And this dream transcends the Armenian Nation. History has enshrined a responsibility upon the Armenians, to lead humanity away from genocides. Armenia’s moral leadership is to become one of Armenia’s contributions to civilization. Humanity must collectively insist, as Martin Luther King did, that “Justice is indivisible. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” And justice is not only indivisible, it is indispensable. The triumph of justice is prerequisite to the survival of the human race. Mighty technologies must impel mightier morals, lest the former’s pikes impale us all. Right must prevail over might.
Therefore, we of the land of the free and the home of the brave raise our proud voices and resolutely proclaim here today: Not if, but when the veracity of the Armenian Genocide is universally established; not if but when commensurate reparations are duly paid; not if but when our territorial rights are fully restored; when that glorious day dawns, we will invite all believers in justice to come and celebrate with us in the Valley of Արարատ. We expect a very big crowd and a very big feast.
And I will see you there!