Boston rally commemorates Armenian Genocide after President Biden formally acknowledges atrocities

BOSTON — On Saturday, hundreds of Armenians from around the Commonwealth gathered at Boston Common to commemorate the 106th anniversary of ‘Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day.’

Earlier in the day, President Joe Biden declared the mass slaughter of Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Turks during WWI as “genocide,” and became the first U.S. President to do so.

Other Presidents have avoided the term in order to avoid fracturing ties with Turkey, a major U.S. ally.

“I’m here to do what my ancestors never got to do,” explained Lena Bardakjian, a member of the Boston University Armenian Students Association. “If it wasn’t for their bravery and resilience and all of the courage they had during these tough times, we wouldn’t be standing here today.”

Those in attendance marched from the Common to Armenian Heritage Park.

“The world needs to see what’s happening,” said Nicole Simmons of Belmont, who added that her grandparents are genocide survivors.

“Armenians, like all victims of genocide, have to bond together to ensure that future genocides do not happen,” explained Laura Purutyan of Concord. “On top of the denial all these decades, the war has been an extra burden.”

Many Armenians have long claimed a suppression of truth by political powers, but on Saturday, many said this acknowledgement of history is a long-awaited reckoning.

‘We’re having this amazing day of recognition, thank you President Biden,” said Stephen Kurkjian, a former investigative reporter with the Boston Globe. “This is not a moment of separation between Armenians and Turks. I hope it’s a moment of bringing us together because I want to go back there with my family, and show them where my father lived, and show them what was lost by us being driven out of there.”

“We thank the people of Boston who got to know the Armenian people and they spoke out and finally, the voice of justice was heard,” said Ambassador Ray Flynn, former Mayor of Boston.