Page:Ravished Armenia.djvu/20

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12
FOREWORD

from her suffering nation to the mothers and fathers of the United States. The determination in the child’s eyes made me ask her her age and she answered “Seventeen.”

Tired, and worn out nervously, as she was, Aurora insisted upon telling us of the scenes she had left behind her—massacres, families driven out across the desert, girls sold into Turkish harems, women ravished by the roadside, little children dying of starvation. She begged us to help her to help her people. “ My father said America was the friend of the oppressed. General Andranik sent me here because he trusted you to help me,” she pleaded.

And so her story was translated. Sometimes there had to be intervals of rest of several days, because her suffering had so unnerved her. She wanted to keep at it during all the heat of the summer, but by using the argument that she would learn English, we persuaded her to go to a camp off the coast of Connecticut for three weeks.

You who read the story of Aurora Mardiganian’s last three years, will find it hard to believe that in our day and generation such things are possible. Your emotions will doubtless be similar to mine when I first heard of the suffering of her people. I remember very distinctly my feelings, when, early in October of 1917, I attended a luncheon given by the Executive Committee of the American Committee for Armenian