Georgia Gov. Signs Genocide Proclamation at Capitol Commemoration

* Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan–State Sen. Van Streat and Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell join Georgia Armenian American community at Genocide observance.

ATLANTA–Armenian Americans from across the state of Georgia assembled at the Georgia State Capitol to commemorate the 84th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. State Sen. Van Streat (D-Ga.)–Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell and Prelate of the Armenian Church of the Eastern United States–Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan participated in the April 23 observance–where Gov. Barnes issued a proclamation marking April 24 "Day of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide from 1915-1923"

Emory University Professor–Dr. Juliette Stepanian–welcomed the more than 100 Armenian Americans at the Observance–which featured remarks by community leaders including Armenian Independent

Cultural Association of Georgia Chairman Andy Barsamian–and Dr. Aris Merijanian. Dr. Stepanian paid special thanks to Sen. Streat and the Agasarkisian family for their efforts in the passage of a Senate resolution earlier this year "honoring the worldwide victims of genocide and recognizing April 24–1999–as ‘Georgia Day of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923.’" Upon passage of the resolution on February 8th–Sen. Streat noted that "by remembering and openly condemning these atrocities–we take an active role in preventing future atrocities." During the observance–Governor Roy Barnes presented the Armenian Genocide proclamation to community activist Sarkis Agasarkisian. His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan offered a moving spiritual message and closing prayer in memory of the 1.5 million victims of the Armenian Genocide.

"We would like to thank Gov. Barnes–Sen. Streat and Mayor Campbell for their efforts to educate the people of Georgia about the Armenian Genocide–so that similar atrocities may be prevented in the future," stated Armenian National Committee of Georgia representative Haroutiun Agasarkisian. "The Armenian Genocide–planned and carried out by the Ottoman Turkish government–remains unpunished to this day. We will continue efforts toward securing justice for the victims of the Genocide and for the Armenian people."

By the Governor of the State of Georgia A Proclamation Day of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide from 1915-1923

Whereas: Over 1.5 million men–women and children of Armenian descent were the victims of the brutal genocide perpetrated by the Young Turk government of the Ottoman Empire from 1915 – 1923; and

Whereas: Official recognition of the atrocity has yet to be granted by the current Turkish government–further extending the pain felt by the families and the relatives of the deceased–including over 500 families in Georgia; and

Whereas: Education–open discussion–and constant vigilance against intolerance and hate is the best defense to prevent the repetition of genocidal horrors–such as the Armenian Genocide of 1915 – 1923; and

Whereas: Armenian Americans has contributed to the wonderful diversity of our state through their leadership in business–agriculture–academia–government and the arts;

Now therefore–I–Roy E. Barnes–Governor of the State of Georgia–do hereby proclaim April 24–1999–as the Day Of Remembrance Of The Armenian Genocide Of 1915-1923 in Georgia–and do further request all citizens to pause in remembrance of those who have been victimized by repressive regimes.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF–hereunto set my hand and caused the SEAL of the EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT to be affixed this 23rd day of April–1999. Governor Roy E. Barnes

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