Local church community reacts to Pres. Biden’s recognition of Armenian Genocide

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s been a historic week for Armenians here in western Massachusetts and throughout the world.

There was a sense of validation and gratitude among the clergy and worshippers at the Sunday service at St. Mark Armenian Apostolic Church in Springfield.

Grateful that President Biden set the record straight this weekend and said what they knew all along, that the Turkish Ottoman empire had committed genocide killing more than one and a half million Armenians during the early 20th century.

“It’s definitely an extremely emotional, monumental, and historic day,” said Ani Jermakian of Wilbraham. “It’s very emotional because especially, for those who grew up in this country but are Armenian….. for this country to officially, finally recognize it after 106 years, this is what we’ve been waiting for.”

Pastor Deacon Timothy Aznavourian told 22News he isn’t surprised the Turkish government has vehemently criticized President Biden for recognizing the genocide committed against the Armenian people.

“The recognition of our genocide is not just something that happened in the past, it’s actually a reality that’s happening now,” said Deacon Aznavourian. “Because Turkey, even to this day, they have been emboldened to continue attacking and killing Armenian people, Armenian churches and Armenian cultural heritage.”

So now for the first time, the White House has acknowledged what generations of Armenians have known for more than 100 years. To use the words of one Armenian-American worshipper, “This is emotional, monumental, and historic.”

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