In the thriving Armenian metropolis of Glendale, reports Thursday that House sponsors had delayed action on a resolution recognizing the Armenian genocide prompted reactions as varied as the Armenian population itself.
Some were resigned: If not today, then one day. Others were frustrated.
"I've been here 30 years. We've been trying and trying," said 50-year-old Gary Markarian as he stood behind the counter of his liquor store.
"Of course, we are eager to pass this resolution, but at the same time we understand it's not possible for America because of foreign policy," said Rita Demirjian, manager of Sardarabad, a bookstore filled with Armenian books and art wares. "We are Americans too. We live here."
Demirjian, 50, an Armenian who was born in Lebanon but has lived in the U.S. for 18 years, spoke in a calm yet determined voice.
She served a visitor coffee and cookies from a nearby Armenian bakery and talked of a goal that she and fellow Armenians vow never to abandon: securing a formal acknowledgment by the U.S. government that the systematic killing of as many as 1.5 million Armenians by Turks, starting in 1915, is recognized by historians and experts as genocide.
"It will not go away. It happened," Demirjian said.
By some estimates, Glendale is home to as many as 80,000 Armenians and dozens of Armenian-owned businesses. Not all of them shared the bookstore manager's temperate view. Other Armenians voiced greater disappointment and frustration with this latest development.
"It just shows that justice is a game," said Vazken Movsesian, an Armenian American priest from St. Peter Armenian Church and the director of In His Shoes, a youth ministry that is outspoken on genocide issues.
Movsesian mentioned how President Bush recently bestowed the Congressional Gold Medal upon the Dalai Lama and did "not care one minute if he offends the whole country of China. And then you have one word that offends Turkey and they pull back. It's all politics. Turkey is essentially holding the U.S. hostage."
Movsesian said that as an Armenian he was not hopeful that the U.S. would proceed, yet as an American he hoped that it would. "I want to believe my country can step up to the plate and say, 'Yes, this happened.' . . . What credibility do we have if we can't say, 'Yes, this happened'?"
The priest was not the only one unmoved by the U.S. government's concern about relations with Turkey.
"I think the biggest problem is that Turkey has been allowed to saber-rattle time after time," said Vicken Papazian, an attorney and activist with the Armenian National Committee here.
Taking a smoke break at a table outside his Tonir Bakery on Glendale Avenue, Narek Avetyan was equally disappointed by this latest action.
"They're not doing the right thing," said Avetyan, 24, who has lived in the U.S. since 1988.
"It doesn't matter what culture you are, where you come from: If you don't recognize it, it will happen again someday," Avetyan said of the genocide.
Avetyan, who was born in Armenia, had a great-grandfather who died in the genocide. "They took him and he never came back," said Avetyan.
The weariness was evident in some voices Thursday. "I don't know how long it will take before someone steps up and says that's it," Markarian said.
But the Armenian National Committee's Papazian was more confident that one day this resolution would be a reality.
"We're resilient people," Papazian said. "The fact that the timetable has been adjusted is not a devastating blow. Whether the full House votes on this later this year or next year, we'll be here. There's no statute of limitations on discussing genocide."