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Remembering September 11

 

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Thirteen years ago today, America faced one of the worst terrorist attacks this world has seen. Over a decade later, Americans live in great fear of terrorism because the vivid images still haunt us. Remembering what happened on September 11, 2001 paralyzes us every time in horror and disgust.

After 9/11 I’ve always feared the possibility of L.A. experiencing what N.Y.C. experienced. The terrors that ISIS/ISIL have inflicted upon the world just add to my anxiety. Yesterday night I had a hard time falling asleep, my mind couldn’t stop thinking about all of the people who went to bed not knowing what was awaiting them the next morning. I was afraid of waking up to terrible news this morning…I’m thankful that was not the case and I hope America (or any country) never has to face tragic events like those that occurred on September 11th.

This day marks a terrible moment in history for America; innocent lives were lost, many of who were public servants including brave police officers and firefighters who were trying to save lives. The only reason I was able to lay my head down to rest was because I thought of America’s incredible HEROES. Those who serve are the reason I can sleep peacefully at nights. So…I would like to thank all of the extremely brave men and women who serve this country. From local public servants who protect their communities to military officers who protect our nation, YOU ARE TRUE HEROES! I take comfort in knowing that courageous people protect my country, because God knows I would never be able to do what you do. As much as we say it, it will never be enough due to the immense risks you take to ensure our safety. THANK YOU.

I don’t know if it’s possible but I sure do hope this world lives in peace one day.

My heart goes out to all of the families, friends and loved ones of those who lost their lives.

Rest In Peace.

 

 

 

Image from freegreatimages.com

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99 Years Later

April 24, 1915. This date holds great significance to the small population of Armenians in the world today.

Many do not know who we are.

Many do not know where we come from.

Many do not know what we are so bitter about.

 

We are Armenians. Our country is located between Eastern Europe and Southwest Asia, surrounded by Georgia, Azerbaijan, Iran and Turkey.

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What are we so bitter about?… The first Genocide of the 20th century.

99 years ago, Turkey invaded the beautiful lands of Armenia, which at the time, touched all three seas: Black, Caspian, and the Mediterranean (The origin of the phrase “Tsovits tsov” which means from sea to sea).

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Although the violence began long before 1915, the methodical killing spree was considered Genocide between the years of 1915 and 1923. During this time, 1.5 million Armenians were massacred. Turkey argues that the lives lost were due to war and these actions should not be considered Genocide due to the timing overlap with World War I. Turkey, till this day, denies the horrific historical facts of Genocide.

Although many countries around the world and 42 states individually recognize these massacres as Genocide, the United States, as a country, still does not.

 

 

Dear President Obama,

You and my parents are the same age. My parents’ grandparents and other close relatives suffered through the inhumane acts of the Ottoman Turks. My dad’s side fled to Egypt while my mom’s side fled to Russia. Both sides moved back to the raped and pillaged lands of their home country years after the Genocide “ended.” Decades later, my family emigrated to America, I am a U.S. born citizen. I am the person you represent. I am the great granddaughter of a survivor of the Armenian Genocide.

On January 19, 2008 you said “The Armenian Genocide is not an allegation, a personal opinion or a point of view, but rather a widely documented fact….The facts are undeniable…As President I will recognize the Armenian Genocide.” For us, we want the recognition of this Genocide so we can finally feel that we honored our ancestors by making their stories heard… and by not allowing politics to intervene in humanitarian issues.

For you, this is more than just about giving Armenians what we have tenaciously fought for over the last 99 years. For you, it is a chance to show your two beautiful daughters the meaning of integrity.

This is about being a good man. Honoring your promises and displaying true credibility. You raise your children in a world, and in a house, flooded with politics, sometimes it may be easy to detach from the population you represent. But your people are crying here, we have been pleading for recognition, and every President who comes along and uses the Armenian Genocide as a means to gain voter support and then abandons his promise, only decreases our faith in this country more and more. Show your children that we do NOT have to surrender to politics, it is not our puppeteer; that the truth prevails, and that a country that values justice CAN act justly.

Many Armenians, including my family and myself voted for you. Your election was the first I was old enough to vote for. I remember proudly marking the circle next to your name. Proudly contributing to the Change you envisioned for this country. Proudly helping alter the status quo by voting for an African American. But as this day rolls around every year, I think to myself…would an African American strive to become the President of this nation if the United States denied its dark past and did not fully acknowledge historical, factual, occurrences? My people were tortured, just as yours were… but we still don’t have closure.

You dampen the pride, trust, and faith of the people of this country when you knowingly ignore the truth, when you knowingly ignore justice. As an Armenian the one thing I want most from this country as a whole, is the Recognition of the Armenian Genocide. As an American I can understand how that may be a challenging measure to pass due to political reasons; however, the strength of a true leader is visible through the difficult decisions s/he makes.

You weakly obey Turkey simply because of their geographical location. Turkey stole our lands, making it a large and powerful nation today; and now, Turkey uses that power to effectively enforce a gag rule. Threatening to pull its Ambassador any time the word Genocide is spoken. Turkey goes out of its way to cover the truth by teaching its youth a different story than what actually occurred. With this, modern day Turkish government is taking after their “Young Turk” Ancestors.

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…You, too, allow the crime to continue by not recognizing the Genocide and not calling “A spade, a spade” as Ms. Samantha Power so beautifully stated in this video.

 

It’s a shame that as much as we support you in everything you do… we, your constituents, do not feel the support reciprocated.

It’s a shame this country cannot find someone who has the integrity to keep his/her promises.

And it is such a shame, that this country, a true pioneer of the world, still cant do the right thing.

 

We have pictures, quotes, documents, family stories, even clips from this HISTORIC EVENT! I agree with you Mr. President, “The facts ARE undeniable.” And it is cowardice of ANYONE to claim this was a war simply because it occurred within the time frame of World War I.

NO.

THIS WAS GENOCIDE.

THE FIRST OF THE 20TH CENTURY.

THESE ACTS ARE THE REASON THE WORD “GENOCIDE” EXISTS.

 

IT IS UNDENIABLE.

 

…And my people and I urge you to STOP DENYING IT.

 

Respectfully,

Suzanna Agavni Sargsyan

 

 

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Armenian Genocide Map Source: The Armenian Genocide Museum Institute

I do not own any of these pictures.

School Shootings: The New Psychotic Craze.

Gun control is a popular topic of discussion, especially nowadays with all of the outrageous stories in the news.

I once said “I try to stay away from understanding life. It’s never going to make (full) sense anyway.” It’s probably the smartest thought that has come out of me. Yet I struggle with ceasing the thoughts that run wildly across my mind. When is it right, if ever, to vocalize our opinions on other peoples’ behavior and choices? Is it even worth discussing whether the public should be allowed to own guns? I mean, it’s technically a constitutional right, where is the discussion?

But does that mean I, now, need to posses a gun to make it a fair battle?…

The real question is, why does there need to be a battle in the first place?

I have this idealistic perspective of the world, and how everything should be, always right, always perfect. People should always be nice; thus, why guns are unnecessary. Unfortunately, the sad reality is, the world doesn’t work like that. People aren’t always nice (although I believe human beings are inherently good). They can plot devious plans to massacre innocent people or simply do crazy things on a whim, like shoot someone for texting in a movie theater. So what do we do? Do we keep arguing about whether people should be allowed to own guns? Or is it time to shift the topic of discussion on teaching people how to properly handle weaponry (including keeping it safe and away from children)? How do we stop people from pulling the trigger? How do we teach people to not turn to weapons and violence as a resolution?

I’ve been trying to understand whether school shootings have always happened and never caught mass media attention until now or if this is some new psychotic trend that is going around. Too often, we hear of people going into schools and sacrificing innocent lives. The latest shooting in New Mexico has left two kids injured because a seventh grader decided he was going to attempt what many others have done in recent past. How does a 12 year old boy get possession of a gun?! AND SHOOT ANOTHER KID IN THE FACE, TWICE!! Why should an 11 year old have to undergo immediate surgery?! Even if this 11 year old was a bully, that is not a good reason to fire at him! This isn’t a form of justice. There needs to be a very clear lesson taught to our country if people think they can just grab a gun and shoot people. Moreover, there needs to be a huge lesson taught to gun owners who do not take care of their weapons appropriately.

If you don’t want the government controlling your guns, then make sure YOU’RE controlling them!

…Again, how does a 12 year old boy get possession of a gun?!

 

How can anyone think of taking a gun to a campus filled with innocent children or people who are trying to improve their lives by attaining a higher education?!

It’s outrageous; simply abominable behavior.

Why.

I just want to understand why.

And how do we fix this?…

I’m often left perplexed at life’s controversies; deep down I know what I prefer, but sometimes it’s not logically the best decision. Of course no one should/should need to own a gun. Guns, evidently, make it easier for people to kill people. By simply pulling a trigger, a life can be taken. That’s it. No more going back and undoing the action. One simple vengeful thought, an easy decision made off emotional rage, and lives are lost.

But the saying stands true: guns don’t kill people, people kill people… So how about we stop battling gun owners (because we lost that battle in 1787) and move forward, so we can make progress, so we can teach our people to not kill people.

 

“De ja vu, in a country where school shootings are no longer rare.”

 

I just can’t even deal with that sentence.