BURBANK—California Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) issued the following statement on the Armenian Genocide:
The Armenian-American community has a long history in the State of California, with a presence going back to the 1880s. The Armenian people have survived millennia-long brutalities and generations upon generations of trauma. The stories of the families, of women and children, tell of the resiliency and incredible will to rise and thrive despite the efforts to oppress an entire nation.
I have and will always stand in solidarity with the Armenian people. In 2020 old wounds began to open as a vicious war was launched against the Armenian people of Artsakh amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the war having ended, Armenia’s neighbors continue their aggressive tactics, reminding us all, that recognizing the Armenian Genocide, not just on April 24, but every day, is crucial to combat the hate and violence being perpetrated against the Armenian nation.
While it was a bright day at this time last year when President Biden recognized the Armenian genocide—more than a century after Ottoman Turkey killed an estimated 1.5 million Armenian civilians—we can and must do more. As a Jewish woman who lost family members during the Holocaust, I understand what it means to come from a historically persecuted people. It is critical for Armenians to have justice for those loved ones, to have the genocide fully, rightly acknowledged as the Holocaust is. That includes recognition and reparations from the Turkish state. Armenian-Americans need our support. Over the past few years, anti-Armenian hate crimes have become more frequent, here in California, and around the world.
I am proud to represent California's largest Armenian community and believe that we, as Americans, who believe in doing what is right, must call out the atrocities against a vulnerable people who simply want their right to exist in peace. I commend the Armenian people for their unwavering resilience, and though your homeland is far, it is near in all of our hearts. May the victims of the Armenian Genocide, and all genocides that have come to follow it, rest in eternal peace.