On June 17, 2021, Armenian Council of America Board Member Mr. Harry Unell delivered a speech commemorating the 20 Armenian martyrs who were unjustly executed in the Sultan Beyazıt Square of Constantinople (now Istanbul) on June 15, 1915 during the Armenian genocide.
Bellow is his speech it’s entirety:
Tonight, commemorate the memory and legacy of the 20 martyrs of the Armenian Genocide.
These Armenian heroes fought and died for religious and minority tolerance, struggled against the forces of state sanctioned persecution, and genocide, perpetrated by the Turkish Ottoman regime, and most importantly they struggled to ensure a foundation was set for a free and independent Armenian nation, build on values that we all hold dear.
For decades, the Armenian Council of America has made it our mission to fight for these very values and have taken to heart, the inspirational example that these valiant patriots have set.
Within the last few years, we have expanded our activism work within federal and local governments throughout the United States, championing for healthy relations between a free Armenia, a free Artsakh and the United States of America.
Recently, we have seen the reaffirmation by the legislative and Executive branches, recognizing the Armenian Genocide for the genocide it was.
I know within my heart of hearts, that the 20ner would rejoice with tears in their eyes, to see how far we have come in our struggle.
But, as many of you know, our struggle has only begun and the challenges we face now are far greater and more dangerous than they ever were before.
Armenia and Artsakh stand on the precipice of disaster, brought about by Turkish and Azeri aggressors, as was demonstrated during the 44 day war.
War, persecution, intolerance, and yes ethnic cleansing, are the tools being employed to once again destroy our people.
On June 20th, Armenia will have another snap election. This election is now one of the most important in Armenian history.
I cannot presume to speak for the 20ner, nor would I ever wish to. I can only say that these visionaries, and true patriots of the Armenian people, lived, dreamed, and died, for a freedom of all Armenians. We must learn from them, and apply their lessons, to the challenges we face today.
We cannot give up on a free and democratic Armenia or Artsakh. An Armenia and Artsakh where justice, happiness, and freedom are a right for all. An Armenia where corruption, intolerance, and fear have no place. And most importantly, we cannot stop our struggle against the forces of Genocide.
Just as valiantly the 20 face their struggles head on, we must redouble our efforts within America to ensure that the governments of our aggressors are held accountable for their violent and criminal acts against the Armenian people.