Sarah Arkin and Damian Murphy, staff representatives of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who are currently in Armenia on the instructions of Senator Robert Menendez, the chairman of this committee, visited the Armenian Genocide Memorial complex on August 9.
The guests were welcomed by Harutyun Marutyan, AGMI Director, who described the history of the creation of the Memorial complex. He then told the story of the three khachkars placed within the confines of Tsitsernakaberd in memory of the Armenians who died in the massacres organised by the Azerbaijani government in the cities of Sumgait, Kirovabad (Gandzak) and Baku at the end of the 20th century, as well as the biographies of the five freedom fighters buried in front of Memory Wall during the Artsakh struggle for survival, emphasising that contemporary acts of persecution and violence against Armenians were a continuation of the Armenian Genocide.
Sarah Arkin and Damian Murphy laid a wreath at the Genocide Monument, after which they laid flowers at the Eternal Fire and observed a minute’s silence in memory of the innocent martyrs of the Armenian Genocide.
The AGMI Director accompanied the guests to the Memory Wall, which contains, in special niches in its reverse side, small containers of soil taken from the graves of a number of 19th and 20th century foreign public figures, politicians, intellectuals and missionaries who raised voices of protest against the massacres and deportations of Armenians carried out by the Turkish government. Describing the pro-Armenian activities of Henry Morgenthau and Clara Barton, Mr. Marutyan emphasised that thanks to their work, the American public was well aware of the massacres of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire and that the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the United States was also a tribute to the memory of those people. He presented the history of the Memory Woodland to the guests and noted that the first tree dated back to 1997, having been planted by US Senator Robert Dole in memory of Hambar Kelekyan, an Armenian-American surgeon who survived the Armenian Genocide.
Expressing his gratitude for their visit, AGMI Director Harutyun Marutyan, presented Sarah Arkin and Damian Murphy with the second issue of the 2022 “International Journal of Armenian Genocide Studies,” entirely dedicated to the Artsakh issue.