Armenian Genocide Marked in Capitol Hill Observance

— Armenian Caucus–Community Leaders–Armenian Embassy Host Special 90th Anniversary Remembrance

WASHINGTON–DC–Armenian Americans from throughout the US gathered on Capitol Hill on Thursday to participate in a special series of events marking the 90th Anniversary of the Armenian genocide.

Over 20 Armenian American organizations coordinated a gathering with Members of Congress–providing an opportunity for constituents to discuss key concerns with their legislators and speak out in support of proper US reaffirmation of the Armenian genocide. Representatives joining with community members included Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairmen Frank Pallone–Jr. (D-NJ) and Joe Knollenberg (R-MI)–as well as Shelley Berkley (D-NV)–Jeb Bradley (R-NH)–Eric Cantor (R-VA)–John Conyers (D-MI)–Joe Crowley (D-NY)–Barney Frank (D-MA)–Grace Napolitano (D-CA)–Steve Rothman (D-NJ)–Brad Sherman (D-CA)–Hilda Solis (D-CA)–and Diane Watson (D-CA).

The Capitol Hill reception was organized by the Armenian Assembly of America–Armenian National Committee of America–Armenian Relief Society and Armenian General Benevolent Union–and sponsored under the auspices of Armenia Fund USA–Armenian International Women’s Association–Armenian American Cultural Association–Armenian Bar Association–Armenian Church Youth Organization–Armenian Democratic Liberal Organization–Armenian Engineers and Scientific Association–Armenian Missionary Association–Armenian National Institute–Soorp Khatch Church–ARMENPAC-Armenian American Political Action Committee–Armenian Revolutionary Federation–Armenian Youth Federation–Armenian Council of America–Daughters of Vartan–Diocese of the Armenian Church–Hamazkayin Armenian Cultural Organization–Knights of Vartan-Avaktivan–Office of the Nagorno-Karabagh Republic–Prelacy Armenian Apostolic Church–Social Democratic Hnchakian Party–and the Tekeyan Cultural Association.

Following the gathering–community members went to the historic Cannon Caucus room for the 90th Anniversary Observance of the Armenian Genocide on Capitol Hill–organized by the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues–held in cooperation with the Armenian Embassy and Armenian American groups. The program included moving speeches by Henry Morgenthau III–the gran’son of US Ambassador Henry Morgenthau–who worked valiantly to call attention and stop the Armenian Genocide in his capacity as US Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire.

Spotlighting the US record of relief aid to the survivors of the Armenian Genocide–the program also included keynote remarks by Ryan LaHurd–President of the Near East Foundation–which was formed in 1916 to help the victims of the Armenian genocide. Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-chairmen Frank Pallone–Jr. (D-NJ) and Joe Knollenberg (R-MI) were masters of ceremony for the function–which included remarks from Senators John Kerry (D-MA)–Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) and Jack Reed (D-RI)–as well as Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier (R-CA)–House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)–Foreign Operations Subcommittee Ranking Democrat Nita Lowey (D-NY)–and Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA)–George Radanovich (R-CA)–Mark Kirk (R-IL)–Edward Royce (R-CA)–Anna Eshoo (D-CA)–Thad McCotter (R-MI)–Mark Foley (R-FL)–and James Langevin (D-RI).

Newly appointed Armenian Ambassador to the US Tatoul Markarian and Mountainous Karabagh Representative Vardan Barseghian outlined their respective governmen’s’ commitment to genocide recognition and praised the US heroic efforts to assist genocide survivors in 1915. Cypriot Ambassador to the US Euripedes Evriades also participated in the solemn Capitol Hill event.

Other Members of Congress in attendance included Reps. John Conyers (D-MI)–Lane Evans (D-IL)–Rush Holt (D-NJ)–Mike Honda (D-CA)–Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX)–Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)–Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)–and Mark Souder (R-IN). His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan and Bishop Vicken Aykazian provided the invocation and closing prayers respectively.

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