Bay Area Political Officials Mark Genocide Anniversary

San Mateo County Supervisor Dave Pine (right) presenting leaders of the Bay Area Armenian American community with a proclamation on the Armenian Genocide.

Mayor Ed Lee addresses Armenian Americans at Mt. Davidson Cross Requiem; issues proclamation; Joining San Francisco, San Mateo becomes latest county to declare April 24 as Armenian Genocide Commemoration Day

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.—San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee and the Boards of Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco and the County of San Mateo marked the 97th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, reported the Armenian National Committee – San Francisco Bay Area (Bay Area ANC).

At its meeting on April 24, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted a proclamation in remembrance of the Armenian Genocide. This was the first time the body took up such a resolution, which called out the Ottoman Turkish government for planning and executing “unspeakable atrocities committed against the Armenian people from 1915 through 1923, which included torture, starvation and murder of 1,500,000 Armenians…” The proclamation further noted, “the Republic of Turkey unjustifiably and adamantly denies the occurrence of these crimes against humanity while actively continuing to remove traces of Armenian existence, including the destruction of cultural heritage.”

“By adopting this proclamation San Mateo County will join many cities, counties and the States in formally recognizing the historic fact of the Armenian Genocide,” said Supervisor Dave Pine, who introduced the proclamation. “Unfortunately, the denial of this historic event remains as even the United States government has yet to formally recognize these events. By adding our voice we both honor our local Armenian-American community as well as support the broadly understood and affirmed historic recognition of the Armenian Genocide. This effort is critical to ensure the veracity of history and to support efforts to prevent another genocide in the world,” added Supervisor Dave Pine.

San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee addressing the Armenian American community at Mt. Davidson Cross.

Bay Area Armenian American community leaders attended the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors meeting to show the community’s appreciation for the Board’s action.

“We are here to express our sincere thanks to the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors for standing on the side of truth, standing on the side of justice, standing in solidarity with the Armenian people here and around the world as we mark the 97th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, during which 1.5 million human lives were cut short at the hands of the Ottoman Turkish Government,” said Bay Area ANC Director Matt Senekeremian as he addressed the meeting of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors. “Only by acknowledging the painful lessons of history and applying just resolutions for crimes, can we hope to prevent future atrocities. Only by doing so can we hope to make the words ‘Never Again’ a reality with regard to genocide,” Senekeremian added.

In San Francisco, Mayor Edwin Lee attended the Armenian American community’s annual requiem honoring the victims of the Armenian Genocide at Mt. Davidson Cross on April 22. Mayor Lee addressed those gathered to pay their respects and issued a proclamation declaring April 24, 2012 Armenian Genocide Day of Remembrance in San Francisco.

On April 17, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted a resolution declaring April 24, 2012 as Armenian Genocide Commemoration Day in San Francisco. Over the years, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors has consistently adopted Armenian Genocide resolutions and called upon the President of the United States and the U.S. Congress to properly acknowledge the Armenian Genocide. Supervisor Sean Elsbernd, whose district is home to the Calvary Armenian Congregational Church, the KZV Armenian School, and the Mt. Davidson Cross, introduced the resolution.

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