Brookdale Community College commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide Sunday with the opening of two exhibits and a book release, NJ.com reports.
The Center for Holocaust, Human Rights and Genocide Education (CCHANGE) at the school featured the interactive exhibit “A Journey to Life: Armenia,” which included stories of local Armenian survivors and their families, and a student art exhibit called “Illuminating Images: A Hundred Year Remembrance.”
“Genocide is the most terrible crime a people can undergo, or another people can commit,” said U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-4th Dist.), who attended the event. “It must never be forgotten-to forget it would be to dull our consciences and diminish our own humanity. It must never be denied, but fully acknowledged – otherwise any meaningful attempt at reconciliation will be thwarted.
The book, “Hundred-Year Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide: Celebrating the Lives of Armenian Genocide Survivors in Our Community,” which details 54 survivors of the genocide who now live in Monmouth County was also released.
Smith said he would also be chairing a congressional hearing on April 23, the day before Armenian Remembrance day.
“When political leaders fail to lead or denounce violence, the void is not only demoralizing to the victims but silence actually enables the wrongdoing,” Smith said in a statement. “Silence by elected officials in particular conveys approval–or at least acquiescence–and can contribute to a climate of fear and a sense of vulnerability. History has taught us that silence is not an option. We must do more.”