By Nick Rejebian (@nrejebbs)
AAA News Blog
July 1, 2015
For too often, the main questions on the minds of Armenian Americans when face to face with politicians are: 1) Do you recognize the Armenian Genocide; and 2) What are you doing to recognize it in Congress? It is no secret that our questions are rooted in the democratic value of justice, but we often lose track of the empathetic allies that see the Armenians as more than just a cause. Congressman Pallone is one of those people.
Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) the co-founder and decades long co-chair of the Congressional Armenian Caucus, met with the Armenian Assembly summer interns on Friday to discuss with us his involvement with Armenian issues. However, he did more than just answer our questions. He did more than reassure us that he would not give up in his fight for justice as a leader in the Caucus. As we sat in his Capitol Hill office, listening to an elected official who has established a portion of his political legacy fighting for Armenian American issues, we heard a humble public servant talk about his treasured visits to Armenia and Karabakh. He shared with us his experiences in the homeland, staying right across the street from an Armenian church, hearing the sounds of a joyous summer picnic, smelling the choreg (Armenian sweet bread) bake for Easter, and seeing Armenians from all around the area come to this sanctuary, a true sense of community.
While we listened to his stories it was difficult to ignore the Armenian carpets that graced the floors of his office, and the work of an Armenian artisan rug that hung proudly in plain view. All in all, our meeting with Congressman Pallone was more than a symbolic gesture, it was an important step that the Congressman takes annually, an example to his commitment to seeing a stronger Armenian American community.