Different Memorials Teach Similar Lessons: Op-Ed by Ambassador Elin Suleymanov (F04)


My visit to the Oklahoma City National Memorial last summer left a lasting impression. Walking in the serene garden dedicated to the memory of the victims, one is amazed by the ability of Oklahomans to cope with the tragedy and emerge even stronger from its aftermath.

There, in the garden in Oklahoma City, I remembered the hilltop memorial in my hometown of Baku, Azerbaijan, half a world away. Although the memorial in Baku commemorates victims of a different time of violence, both gardens testify to the enduring impact on the events in Oklahoma City and Baku on their respective communities.

On Jan. 20, 1990, Soviet leadership ordered a full-scale surprise military attack on Azerbaijan's capital, committing an indiscriminate mass murder of about 150 unarmed civilians, including women, children and elderly. Later, the Human Rights Watch described the Soviet army's actions as “an exercise in collective punishment” and “a warning to nationalists, not only in Azerbaijan, but in the other Republics of the Soviet Union.''

Read the full piece

Posted in: