Mayor Sparks Controversy in How Armenian Massacre will be Remembered

    DAYTON -- A controversy over the term "genocide" has sparked some folks in Dayton to speak up.

    At a meeting a few weeks ago, a local man asked Major Nan Whaley to commemorate the 1915 massacre of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire with a proclamation.

    This Friday, April 24 marks 100 years since the start of the slaughter that claimed 1.5 million lives in the area that is present day Turkey.

    Nicholas Alahverdian said he was disappointed when Major Whaley declared Friday "Armenian Centennial Remembrance Day," with no mention of genocide.

    He voiced his concerns at the Dayton City Commission meeting Wednesday morning.

    "I think the most important thing to remember here is that the Pope recognized this as the first genocide of the 21st century... We are not dealing with a shooting or a bombing, we're dealing with the killing of 1.5 million people," said Alahverdian.

    Alahverdian did say he is glad the city is remembering the day. The Republic of Turkey denies the deaths were genocide and claims the killings were not deliberate or systematic.

    But the 23 countries have officially recognized them as such; The United States is not one of them.

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