Armenians and Cherokee Share ‘Trail of Tears’

Those of you with Armenian blood in you will understand why I am posting the piece below written by a Native American in The Tennessean on March 15, President Andrew Jackson’s birthday. Jackson was a Tennessean and his home is in Nashville. While I do not agree with some of the extreme language the writer uses (which was absent in the actual newspaper printed version of this column), I have long sympathized with the plight of the mostly Cherokee Native Americans who were forced out of their ancestral lands in the Southeast (mostly Tennessee and Georgia) and marched across hundreds of miles of starvation and death to “resettlement camps” in Oklahoma and further west. Their plight, known as The Trail of Tears, is remarkably similar to the fate suffered by so many Armenians approximately 100+ years later. While we all know that history is complicated and the truth is often difficult to unravel, there is no denying that there are events that need to be seen for what they are. As descendants of Armenians expelled from ancestral homelands nearing the April 24th date of the 100th Commemoration of the Armenian Massacres, we should take a moment to remember those who were sent to their death along American The Trail of Tears. 

FROM WIKIPEDIA — The Armenian Genocide (also known as the Armenian Holocaust, the Armenian Massacres and, traditionally by Armenians, as Medz Yeghern (Armenian: Մեծ Եղեռն, “Great Crime”),[9] was the Ottoman government’s systematic extermination of its minority Armenian subjects from their historic homeland within the territory constituting the present-day Republic of Turkey. The total number of people killed as a result has been estimated at between 1 and 1.5 million. The starting date is conventionally held to be 24 April 1915, the day Ottoman authorities rounded up and arrested some 250 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople. The genocide was carried out during and after World War I and implemented in two phases: the wholesale killing of the able-bodied male population through massacre and subjection of army conscripts to forced labour, followed by the deportation of women, children, the elderly and infirm on death marches leading to the Syrian desert. Driven forward by military escorts, the deportees were deprived of food and water and subjected to periodic robbery, rape, and massacre.[10][11][12] — END WIKIPEDIA

Albert Bender Column