Thank the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs on HR 252

Contact the committee

In addition to thanking the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs, you can access the actual vote tally (see who voted for and against the resolution).

Here is the letter I sent:

Dear Members of the Committee on Foreign Affairs,

Thank you to all who made the choice to vote YES on HR 252–as Ron Kampeas wrote in his Capital J Blog, “for voting in the interests of never again denying a genocide occurred.”

My grandfather was Karnig Kalpakian (Dr. John Karnig) and his father was Dr. Janik Kalpakian. In 1920, they escaped the killings in Marash, Turkey, that claimed the lives of my great grandmother Mary Mesrobian, as well as the lives of my great aunts Anais and Armenouhi (they were butchered in a mosque).

During the Ottoman Turks’ mass deportation of the Armenians, Mary Mesrobian’s entire family, with the exception of her brother Kevork, were deported “to the deserts of Arabia” (this is what my grandfather wrote in his letter to our family, but it was most likely Der Zor).

My grandfather and great grandfather were among the ‘lucky’ victims of the Ottoman Turks. Leaving everything behind, they survived. Starting off in a horse-drawn carriage to Aintab, Janik and Karnig set out on their journey to safer shores in America. From Aintab they traveled to Aleppo (Syria); then to Beirut (Lebanon), then on to Jerusalem, and finally to Alexandria, Egypt, where they waited to immigrate to America.

In 1923, Karnig, together with his father, new stepmother and a new baby brother, Hagop, finally arrived at Ellis Island in New York.

My grandfather became a prominent dentist, a Mason and one of the leaders responsible for establishing the Armenian community in the New York metropolitan area. His baby brother “Jack” served in WWII and worked for Harvard University until his retirement a few years ago. Both men and their families owe their lives to the United States of America.

Sincerely,

Sheri Jordan

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