Today marks 102-years since the Armenian genocide. Being of Armenian decent, today is a very sad day for Armenians around the world.

It is a day that we commemorate all the Armenians that lost their lives in the genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire that still doesn’t remain recognized by the Turkish government today, or even by the U.S. government.

For those who don’t know, the genocide happened in 1915 and resulted in the deaths of as many as 1.5 million Armenians — as part of an orchestrated effort by the Ottoman Turkish government. Historians have characterized what happened as a precursor of, and even a model for, genocide campaigns that followed, including the Holocaust.

BERLIN, GERMANY – APRIL 25: Members of the local Armenian community demonstrate for Turkey’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide on its 100th anniversary on April 25, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. Turkey vehemently objects to the use of the term ‘genocide’ in reference to the deaths of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians who were killed by Ottoman Turks in the massacre beginning a century ago to the day. Scholars have debated whether it was the first genocide of the 20th century. (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)

The LA Times writes, “Turkey has long denied that a genocide took place, arguing that the killings can’t be separated from the historical context of global upheaval during World War I, and that many Turks also were killed. But most historians outside Turkey describe a state-organized campaign of ethnic cleansing that meets the definition of genocide.”

YEREVAN, ARMENIA – APRIL 24: A general view during the laying of the flowers at the Genocide Memorial in Yerevan, Armenia for the 101st anniversary of the Armenian Genocide on April 24, 2016 in Yerevan, Armenia. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images for 100 Lives)

It’s sad growing up and hearing first account stories of what happened to my ancestors. A big reason to which why I am in America has a lot to do with the genocide. My great grandparents were left orphans and taken to Beirut, where they were raised in a orphanage. They later married and created a life there.

I truly believe that in order to prevent other atrocities from occurring, we must recognize the past in order to deter from more genocides happening. We can’t ignore the past and let history repeat itself. I also believe that we must make effort everyday to be good people and be kind to one another, and to especially respect each other’s backgrounds, race and religion.

Today, I will be teaching my daughter to have love towards one another and to not grow up with hate. I will also be watching the movie The Promise, which stars Christian Bale and is about the Armenian genocide.

YEREVAN, ARMENIA – APRIL 24: The eternal flame burns at the Armenian genocide memorial on April 24, 2015 in Yerevan, Armenia. Armenians today are marking the one hundredth anniversary of events generally considered to be the start of a campaign of genocide against minority ethnic Armenians living in present-day eastern Turkey by the Ottoman government over fears of their allegiance during World War I. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

Today, my heart is heavy, but it is also full of hope and that one day, we can all live in peace and harmony with each other.

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