04/16 - Attended Armenian Genocide community event. 04/27/16 - Remarks offered on the Senate floor - Mr. President, last Sunday I had the opportunity to attend the 101st anniversary commemoration of the Armenian genocide , hosted at the Armenian Martyrs Memorial in Providence, RI. I was pleased to be able to join with so many in the Armenian community in my home State for this solemn event. Over a century ago, the Young Turk leaders of the Ottoman Empire summoned and executed over 200 Armenian community leaders and intellectuals, beginning an 8-year campaign of oppression and massacre. By 1923, an estimated 1 1/2 million Armenians were killed, and over a half a million survivors were exiled. These atrocities affected the lives of every Armenian living in Asia Minor and, indeed, throughout the world. The survivors of the Armenian Genocide , however, persevered due to their unbreakable spirit and steadfast resolve and went on to greatly contribute to the lands in which they found new homes and communities, including the United States. This genocide should no longer be denied, which is why I have joined with several of my colleagues on resolutions over the years to encourage the United States to officially recognize the Armenian genocide . But as we remember our history, we must also look to the present and to our future. Violence against Armenians in Nogorno-Karabakh has escalated in recent months. These attacks on the Armenian people are completely unacceptable and call into question the sincerity with which Azerbaijan has approached recent peace negotiations. We must remain vigilant and do all that we can to encourage Azerbaijan to return to the negotiating table and make a good faith effort to ensure a lasting peace agreement in the region. As ranking member on the Senate Armed Services Committee, I remain committed to supporting efforts to provide assistance to Armenia to strengthen security, promote economic growth, and support democratic reforms and development. We also must find a way to come together to recognize our past and to show our unwavering support to those facing persecution today. 05/07/15 - Remarks offered on the Senate floor following the Morning Prayer by His Holiness Aram I. Mr. President, I am honored to be here today to welcome His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia. Since 1995, His Holiness has served as the leader of Armenian communities across the globe, including many members of the Armenian diaspora in my State of Rhode Island. His Holiness will be visiting Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Apostolic Church in Providence on May 30, and members of the Armenian community in Rhode Island look forward to welcoming him. He is an accomplished scholar, a devoted humanitarian, and a strong spiritual shepherd. Recently, we marked the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, which claimed the lives of nearly one and a half million Armenians, exiled over a half a million survivors, and deeply impacted all Armenians throughout the world. On this centennial, we reflect on this exceptionally grave tragedy, and looking to the future, continue to work to promote both peace and human rights worldwide. And there is no one better to help us do so. It is indeed an honor to welcome His Holiness, to hear his words of prayer and reflection, and to go forward knowing that he is a powerful force for tolerance and decency. I thank him for being here today and for sharing his words of wisdom with the Senate and the Nation. 05/07/15 - Sen. Reed invited His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, to deliver the Morning Prayer in the US Senate. Prayer by Aram I 04/23/15 - Remarks offered on the Senate floor in remembrance of the Armenian Genocide - Mr. President, I wish to solemnly observe the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide. One hundred years ago, one of the greatest tragedies of the 20th Century began when the young Turk leaders of the Ottoman Empire executed more than 200 Armenian leaders and intellectuals. What followed was an 8-year systematic campaign of oppression, which by 1923, left an estimated 1.5 million Armenians dead and over a half a million survivors exiled. These atrocities affected the lives of every Armenian living in Asia Minor and, indeed, across the globe, and many called for the United States to take action. The U.S. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire during this dark time, Henry Morgenthau, Sr., unsuccessfully pleaded with President Wilson to take action, and later remembered the events of the genocide, saying: I am confident that the whole history of the human race contains no such horrible episode as this. The great massacres and persecutions of the past seem almost insignificant when compared to the sufferings of the Armenian race in 1915. Former President Theodore Roosevelt also called for an American response, saying, ``Until we put honor and duty first, and are willing to risk something in order to achieve righteousness both for ourselves and for others, we shall accomplish nothing; and we shall earn and deserve the contempt of the strong nations of mankind.'' Unfortunately, the United States and the world did not intervene. It is a testament to the unbreakable spirit of the survivors of the Armenian genocide that they persevered and went on to enrich their countries of emigration, including the United States. That is why today we not only commemorate this grave tragedy, but we celebrate the traditions, the contributions, as well as the bright future of the Armenian people. Indeed, my home State of Rhode Island continues to be enriched by our strong and vibrant Armenian -American community. Denial of this history is inconsistent with our country's values and as we mark this centennial, I once again join with my colleagues on a resolution that encourages the United States to recognize the Armenian genocide. We must continue to guard against hatred and oppression so that we can prevent such crimes against humanity. I would note that, earlier this month, Pope Francis held a mass to recognize this centennial and described this mass atrocity against Armenians as the first genocide of the 20th century. On this, the 100th anniversary, the United States should similarly recognize this horrific tragedy as genocide, joining the ranks of the many countries that have already done so. I remain committed to supporting efforts, as ranking member on the Senate Armed Services Committee and as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, to provide assistance to Armenia to promote economic growth, strengthen security, and support democratic reforms and development. I am pleased that on May 7, at my invitation, His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Worldwide Armenian Apostolic Church and the Great House of Cilicia, will serve as guest Chaplain before this body and continue this important message. We must find a way to come together to recognize what happened a century ago and show our unwavering support to those facing persecution today. I hope we can do that.