Houston Joins Growing Lone Star State Movement toward Armenian Genocide Recognition

WASHINGTON–DC (ANCA)–Houston Mayor Bill White shared a proclamation commemorating the Armenian genocide with leaders of the Lone Star State’s growing Armenian American community–delivering a powerful pro-human rights message in the home state of President George W. Bush and in the backyard of House Majority Leader Tom Delay.

Armenian Americans in Houston–Dallas–Austin–San Antonio–Galveston–El Paso–and throughout the state are coordinating their efforts through the Texas Joint Committee for the 90th Anniversary of the Armenian genocide.

"We want to thank Mayor White for his leadership and to express our appreciation to all those that made this proclamation possible–including City Controller Anise Parker–community activist and local attorney Phil Kanayan–and the Texas Joint Committee for the 90th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide," said Aram Hamparian–Executive Director of the ANCA. "This proclamation–which–of course–holds great meaning for Armenia’s living in the Houston area–has national significance as well–coming–as it does–in the home state of a President who has–for four straight years–broken his pledge to properly recognize the Armenian Genocide–and in the backyard of a Congressional leader who has consistently blocked legislation commemorating this crime against humanity."

Among the major steps taken this year by the Texas Armenian community were the hosting of an Armenian genocide exhibit at the Holocaust Museum of Houston–the Mayor of Galveston’s Armenian Genocide proclamation–and the signatures of three Texas legislators–Reps. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX)–Gene Green (D-TX)–and Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX)–on the Congressional letter urging President Bush to properly recognize the Armenian genocide.

On May 26–at 6:30 p.m.–Bill Parsons–Chief of Staff of the US Holocaust Museum will be giving a talk on genocide and "Remembering for the Sake of the Future" at the Holocaust Museum of Houston. The Joint Committee for the 90th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide will co-sponsor the event.

In January of last year–ANCA staff from Washington–DC and Los Angeles conducted a ten day fieldtrip throughout Texas–meeting with local leaders–briefing members of Congress and other elected officials–and offering support to the community’s advocacy efforts.

"We are tremendously proud of the increasingly active–vocal–and effective Armenian community of Texas–and are committed to making our unique contribution to–once and for all–ending US complicity in Turkey’s shameful campaign of genocide denial," added ANC-Texas representative Vatche Hovsepian.

PROCLAMATION:

WHEREAS–on April 24–2005–Armenia’s around the world will commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide; during the First World War–the Turkish Empire in an effort of general extermination and elimination of all traces of a thriving and noble civilization over 3,000 years old; of the Armenian population in Eastern Turkey–massacred approximately 1.5 million men–women–and children in the twentieth century’s first genocides; and

WHEREAS–although the survivors of this massacre were scattered to all parts of the world–they have maintained their identity and unity through their church–passing along to each generation not only a strong Christian faith but a knowledge of their language–history and culture; and

WHEREAS–the survivors and descendents of this genocide which drove them from their homeland–recall and commemorate April 24–1915 as Armenian Martyr’s Day; and

WHEREAS–the heroic struggles of the Armenian people inspire and challenge us to cherish and preserve the freedom that is ours; and

WHEREAS–on April 24–2005–City of Houston residents will be called together to commemorate the 90th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide of 1915; and

WHEREAS–this commemoration will serve as an appropriate time for the people of the City of Houston and others to remember the 1.5 Armenian men–women and children who lost their lives; and

Therefore–I–Bill White–Mayor of the City of Houston–hereby roclaim April 24–2005–as Armenian Martyrs Day in Houston–Texas.

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