These are Karekin Njteh’s words, encapsulating a universal truth. Yet, when you watch the youth slip away day by day, when they forget cultural values and history, what will a nation’s future be? When the youth have no idea what their own national monuments represent, what will we become? When genocide education is neglected in the classroom yet those children walk to Dzidzernagapert, unknowing as to why they do so, what sort of future can we expect them to create?
Seeing this newsclip and watching the numbers dwindle in genocide commemoration year by year, one has to wonder where we went wrong. A day of mourning and commemoration is tuned into a day off work, a lovers’ stroll, children’s games, a socializing event, and anything but what it should be. The sheer ignorance of it all is astounding. The genocide is only one aspect of Armenian history, a tiny portion in an extraordinarily large book. However, for the youth, it is almost as if it never existed. One girl thought it was a commemoration for Avarayr, an ancient battle against the forced annihilation of a religion. The girl mentioned a battle from nearly 2000 years ago but failed to realize that the catastrophic mass murder of a nation that the world commemorates is but 97 years old. The thought of the day becoming one for social interactions is absurd enough, but not knowing why you trek up those steps to Dzidzernagapert is disturbing. The blame lies within the school system for failing to educate the country’s youth.