Message on Commemoration of Massacre in Armenia
April 24, 2002
Today, we commemorate an appalling tragedy of the 20th century, the massacre
of as many as 1.5 million Armenians through forced exile and murder at the end
of the Ottoman Empire. These horrific killings left wounds that remain painful
for people in Armenia, in Turkey, and around the world. I join the Armenian
community in America and across the globe in mourning this horrendous loss of
Today is an occasion for the world to reflect upon and draw lessons from these
terrible events. It is a day for recognizing that demonizing others lays the
foundation for a dark cycle of hatred. Transcending this venomous pattern requires
painful introspection about the past and wise determination to forge a new future
based on truth and reconciliation. In this spirit, I look forward to Turkey
restoring economic, political, and cultural links with Armenia.
The United States greatly values the contributions that Armenians make to our
national life. With faith and courage, generations of Armenians have overcome
great suffering and proudly preserved their centuries-old culture, traditions,
and religion. The United States is also deeply grateful for Armenia's swift
and decisive cooperation in the war against terrorism.
Just as the United States reached out to the Armenian people to provide shelter
and freedom early in the last century, so did Armenia extend a supportive hand
to the American people in the immediate aftermath of September 11. Our two peoples
stand together in this fight in support of values that define civilization itself.
I am also very proud of America's strong support for a free Armenian state,
whose citizens enjoy the fruits of peace and increasing prosperity. In the months
to come, America will continue to increase its security cooperation with Armenia
and with Armenia's neighbors to combat terrorism and pursue a lasting and just
settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which will strengthen peace and
stability in the Caucasus. The United States will also continue its strong support
for Armenia's efforts to develop democratic and free market institutions, and
to deepen its integration into the Euro-Atlantic community.
On behalf of the American people, I send warm wishes and expressions of solidarity
to the Armenian people on this solemn day of remembrance. Together, our nations
look with hope and determination toward a future of peace, prosperity, and freedom.