Requiescant in Pacem

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    Tomorrow 4/24 is the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, a major event here in Pasadena. May all those who perished rest in peace, May the Angels lead them to heaven. May those who survived, and the families who never had the opportunity to know them be comforted, and may we one day be delivered from any such events.


    Andres Ortiz

    When was the Armenian Genocide?






    thank you LA Robert
    yes over 1.5 million armenians died in the genocide being raped killed and deported by the Ottomon turks. all because we were Christians.

    here are some survivor stories:
    He saw the men in his village of Khoolu rounded up and marched off; they would never return. Hidden in the home of a sympathetic Turkish neighbor, he saw Kurdish tribesmen descend on the Armenian women and children who remained behind in Khoolu. The Kurds who had guns used them; those without guns used their quick, scythelike knives. After a time, after the last cry was stilled, Khoolu lay silent.

    Then came the waiting. Weeks passed before the government soldiers arrived. A Turkish soldier prodded Mesrop into a caravan of Armenian women and children, and he did not resist. Those in line, perhaps 500 in all, had survived the massacres in the surrounding villages. Mesrop noticed there was not a man among them.

    For 15 days, the caravan of exiles snaked slowly across the desert. The march was long and hard, but Mesrop kept pace he did not dare fall behind in the killing heat, as some of the others had. The soldiers, too, frightened Mesrop. Each day they would carry young women from the caravan into the fields; after a time, Mesrop would hear gunfire and then see the soldiers returning, alone.

    Now, as the caravan wound its way through the gates of Mardin, the familiar knot of hunger and fear twisted in the boy’s stomach. A soldier plucked him and a handful of other children from the line and led them from house to house.

    At one door, a well-to-do Syrian family showed some interest in one of the boys. Soldier and family haggled, while Mesrop watched in silence. Finally, a deal was struck.

    “I remember,” he says. “They gave one silver coin for me.”

    It was a fall day in 1915. Mesrop Boyajian spent the next 10 years in slavery.

    Now 80 and living quietly at Golden Pond, a retirement community in Rancho Cordova, Boyajian is one of 14 Sacramento-area residents who survived the massacres of his people.

    The carnage during 1915-18 on the high plains of what is now eastern Turkey left between 600,000 and 1.5 million Armenians dead and more than half a million banished from the land of their ancestors.



    The Genocide Education Project 5 iwitness Photo Activity
    i witness
    An Exhibit By The Genocide Project
    Oral and Visual Documentation of Survivors of the Armenian Genocide
    The exhibit is also available online at
    born 1906, Sepasdia (Sivas)
    We walked for many days, occasionally running across
    small lakes and rivers. After awhile we saw corpses on the
    shores of these lakes. Then we began seeing them along
    the path: twisted corpses, blackened by the sun and
    bloated. Their stench was horrible. Vultures circled the
    skies above us, waiting for their evening meal.
    At one point, we came upon a small hole in the
    ground. It was a little deeper than average height and 25-
    30 people could easily fit in it. We lowered ourselves
    down into it. There was no water in it but the bottom
    was muddy. We began sucking on the mud. Some of the
    women made teats with their shirts filled with mud and
    suckled on them like children. We were there for about a
    half hour. If we hadn’t been forced out, that would have
    been our best grave.
    Many days later we reached the Euphrates River and
    despite the hundreds of bodies floating in it, we drank
    from it like there was no tomorrow. We quenched our
    thirst for the first time since our departure. They put us
    on small boats and we crossed to the other side. From
    there we walked all the way to Ras-ul-Ain.
    Of a caravan of nearly 10,000 people, there were now
    only some of us 300 left. My aunt, my sisters, my
    brothers had all died or disappeared. Only my mother
    and I were left. We decided to hide and take refuge with
    some Arab nomads. My mother died there under their
    tents. They did not treat me well they kept me hungry
    and beat me often and they branded me as their own.



    born 1902, Sepasdia (Sivas

    There was a girl, a girl who I had befriended on the
    road, earlier. Her name was Satenig. I remember her very
    well. She was not too strong. I saw her again in that
    basement. In the basement of the school where they had
    thrown us. She was there. She had a little bit of money
    and she gave it to me. “Don’t let them take me,” she said.
    “Don’t let them take me.” They would come around
    everyday and take whoever was dead or very weak. She
    was not in good shape, she was very weak. I stood her up
    and leaned on her. Held her up, so. They came. I was
    holding her up, leaning her up against the wall. But they
    saw her and took her; took her;



    born 1908, Papert (Baiburt)

    I do not remember how many days our decimated
    caravan marched southward toward the Euphrates River.
    Day by day the men contingent of the caravan got smaller
    and smaller. Under pretext of not killing them if they
    would hand over liras and gold coins, men would be
    milked by the gendarmes of what little money they had.
    Then they would be killed anyway.
    Days wore on. We marched through mountain roads
    and valleys. Those who could not keep up were put out
    of their misery. Always bodies were found strewn by the
    wayside. The caravan was getting smaller each day. At
    one place, my little grandmother, like Jeremiah incarnate,
    loudly cursed the Turkish government for their
    inhumanity, pointing to us children she asked, “What is
    the fault of children to be subjected to such suffering.” It
    was too much for a gendarme to bear, he pulled out his
    dagger and plunged it into my grandmother’s back. The
    more he plunged his dagger, the more my beloved Nana
    asked for heaven’s curses on him and his kind. Unable to
    silence her with repeated dagger thrusts, the gendarme
    mercifully pumped some bullets into her and ended her
    life. First my uncle, now my grandmother were left
    unmourned and unburied by the wayside.
    We moved on.



    As Catholics we are taught that each individual by virtue of being created by God, has a dignity that comes from what God originally intended when He creataed all things. God said, “it is good”. It is for this reason, knowing that not all would accept Him, that He became incarnate, suffered and died for us. It is also for that reason that He sends His graces as a free gift, so that in cooperating with His grace we may come to salvation.

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