Tuesday, February 12, 2008


DeFacto Agency, Armenia
But it was a similarly stubborn bout of idealism that led Lantos to vociferously back last year's measure about the Armenian genocide in Turkey. "One of the problems we have diplomatically globally is that we have lost our moral authority which we used to have in great abundance," Lantos said at the time. "People around the globe who are familiar with these events will appreciate the fact that the United States is speaking out against a historic injustice. Lantos' Legacy: Justice Worth A Fight
February 11 the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) joined with Armenian Americans from across the United States in mourning the loss of long-serving California Congressman Tom Lantos, a Holocaust survivor and human rights champion who, in his final months in office, played a vital role, as Chairman of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, in this panel's adoption of the Armenian Genocide Resolution.

In separate letters to Congressman Lantos' wife of 58 years, Annette, and to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, ANCA Chairman Ken Hachikian underscored the gratitude of the Armenian American community to Chairman Lantos for his leadership in rejecting the powerful forces of denial and securing, this past October, his Committee's passage of the Armenian Genocide Resolution. Hachikian also shared the hope and expectation that the full House of Representatives will, in the coming weeks, complete the Chairman's unfinished work by securing full Congressional recognition and commemoration of this crime against all humanity.

Speaking on the PBS Newshour on October 11, 2007, a day after the Resolution's adoption at the committee level, Chairman Lantos told correspondent Margaret Warner that, "This is one of those events, Margaret, which has to be settled once and for all: 1.5 million utterly innocent Armenian men, women and children were slaughtered. And the Turkish government, until now, has intimidated the Congress of the United States from taking this measure. . . I think it's important, at a time when genocides are going on in Darfur and elsewhere, not to be an accomplice in sweeping an important genocide under the rug."

Elected to office in 1980, Lantos was Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and one of the country's leading champions of human rights. In 1983 he co-founded the congressional Human Rights Caucus. Commenting on her husband's passing, his widow noted that his life was "defined by courage, optimism, and unwavering

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.



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