A federal judge in Chicago marked the centennial of the 1915 Armenian genocide at a ceremony in his courtroom, AP reports.
Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan is himself of Armenian descent and organized Friday’s commemoration of the deaths of some 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turks. The 63-year-old had relatives who died in the attacks.
The attendees included Illinois Republicans, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk and U.S. Rep. Bob Dold. Members of the region’s Armenian-American community also participated.
Kirk and Dold alluded to how President Barack Obama avoided using the word “genocide” in speaking about the killings earlier this week. Dold told attendees it was “disappointing” the president didn’t follow other world leaders who use the word over objections of Turkey. Turkey is the successor to the Ottoman Empire and has denied genocide occurred.