10. Hear Their Voices

10. Hear Their Voices
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  • My father hid under my grandmother's skirt to escape Armenia during the Genocide. He was almost left behind but insisted on being brought along in hiding. He was 5 years old when he emigrated to the United States and he provided a life for me and my sisters. No one talks about it, though.
  • My grandmother was forced to watch her father be dragged out of their home and murdered on the streets of Armenia alongside his friends. Most people were forced to watch their loved ones have their lives taken right in front of them. No one talks about it, though.
  • We were from different villages when the Genocide began. Our families were split up and to this day we don't know what happened to them. We were fortunate enough to escape to France where we met. We married and moved to the Bronx and through the pain we were able to raise a beautiful family. No one talks about it, though.
  • My great uncle and my father were on a death march for months. They tried to keep their mother and younger brothers alive and motivated to continue the forced journey, but they had to leave all but one of them behind, one by one. They barely escaped with their own lives. No one talks about it, though.
  • My mother has a faded number tattooed onto her arm. She was identified as that number for years while she was enslaved under the Turkish government. To this day she can't talk about what was done to her and she still wakes up screaming when those atrocities haunt her dreams. No one talks about it, though.
  • This is a Forget-Me-Not. The Armenians chose the flower to illustrate that the systematic, government organized slaughter of their people will not be forgotten, even if it has been denied and dismissed for over a century. Unfortunately, the United States is failing the Armenians that built its foundation by cherishing an alliance with Turkey over the lives of their ancestors. No one talks about it, though. Not after 101 years. Not after 1.5 million lives were stolen. Not after millions of recounts of suffering, despair and proof above all. We have not given up and we will not give up until our ancestors and validated. They sacrificed everything for us. Now we fight for them.
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