Senator Robert Menendez Honored as ANC-NJ Man of the Year

From l to r: Raffi Karakashian ANC of NJ, Aram Hamparian ANCA Exec. Dir., Senator Bob Menendez, Karine Birazian ANCA ER Exec. Dir., and Ani Tchaghlasian Chairwoman of ANC of NJ

RIDGEFIELD, NJ–More than two hundred supporters of the Armenian National Committee of New Jersey (ANC-NJ) were on hand this weekend for the granting of US Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) with the grassroots organization’s prestigious Man of the Year award. The ceremony took place on Sunday, February 11 at the Rockleigh Country Club in Rockleigh, New Jersey, during the organization’s annual banquet. The elegant program was attended by a cross-section of Armenian American leaders from the New York metropolitan area, Church leaders representing Armenian Apostolic, Evangelical, and Catholic communities, and, from the Republic of Armenia, a very special guest Vahan Hovanessian, Deputy Speaker of the Armenian Parliament. ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian introduced the Senator, noting his long history of support for the democratic aspirations of the Garden State’s Armenian community. Hamparian reviewed the Senator’s strong support for expanded US-Armenia ties, his devotion to the proper recognition of the Armenian Genocide, his energetic protests of the unfair firing of the former US Ambassador to Armenia, John Marshall Evans, for speaking truthfully about this crime, and – most recently – the Senatorial "hold" he has placed on the President’s new nominee for this post, Dick Hoagland, over his denial of this crime against humanity. To thunderous applause and an extended standing ovation, ANC-NJ chairperson Ani Tchaghlasian invited Senator Menendez to accept his award. In accepting the award, Sen. Menendez offered heartfelt remarks, stating that, "despite denials by the Turkish Government, despite the current Administration’s position, we know, we know, the atrocities committed between 1915 and 1923 constitute genocide." Noting that countless historians had characterized the events of 1915 to 1923 as genocide, he reminded those gathered of his unwavering support for truth and justice. "When I saw what happened to the previous Ambassador, and when I saw what Ambassador Hoagland referred to in his proceedings, I was glad to have arrived in the United States Senate in time to send a very clear message, and use my power as an individual Senator of the United States to place a hold on his nomination. I will continue that hold on his re- nomination." Interrupted repeatedly by applause, the Senator concluded his powerful remarks by thanking his supporters, in particular the Armenian National Committee of New Jersey.

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