Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) read from the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday the names of 1,000 people killed during the Armenian genocide.
After business concluded in the House for the day, Schiff spent an hour reading the names of constituents' relatives and those in the Armenian American community that were submitted over the past two weeks to his office through social media and email.
Schiff's reading of the names came a day after the White House confirmed that President Obama would not use the word "genocide" when he issues a statement Thursday on the 100th anniversary of the massacre. The Turkish government objects to the use of the term.
"In a single hour, I was only able to read the names of a mere fraction of those who were killed in the Armenian genocide," Schiff said in a statement. "To read all of the names of the more than 1.5 million people murdered at the time would take many weeks, and I hope that the recitation of the victims will help call attention to the magnitude of the crime.
"A name, unlike a number, is no abstraction — each was a son or daughter, a mother or father, a grandparent, an aunt or an uncle; each was a precious life."
Kellam writes for Times Community News.