Nevada Governor Issue Proclamation on Armenian Genocide

The Armenian National Committee of America Western Region (ANCA-WR) applauds Nevada Governor James Gibbons (R-CA) for issuing a proclamation concerning the Armenian Genocide. The document specifically addresses the Armenian Genocide as the first genocide of the twentieth century and notes the importance of remembering the Armenian Genocide to guard against the recurrence of this crime against humanity. We are honored to see Governor Gibbons join Governor Schwarzenegger in exercising strong moral leadership on the Armenian Genocide, commented ANCA-WR Executive Director Andrew Kzirian. Nevadas Armenian American community has a rich tradition of civic participation and the Governors proclamation is most welcome in this regard, he added. Governor Gibbons proclamation was issued in the midst of a campaign by the Turkish Government to defeat a resolution (H.Res.106) pending in the U.S. Congress that would mark the slaughter of 1.5 million Christians as the first genocide of the 20th century. In Nevada, Congressman Porter (R-NV-03) and Congresswoman Berkley (D-NV-01) have cosponsored the Armenian Genocide resolution. San Francisco – Bay Area Congressman Tom Lantos (D-CA-12), who serves as Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and is himself a Holocaust survivor, has not indicated whether he is supporting the legislation or if he will schedule a vote on the bill in his committee. Currently, nearly 200 Members of Congress from over 35 states have cosponsored the Armenian Genocide resolution. This is the second proclamation issued by the Office of the Governor of Nevada since 2000. Delaware General Assembly Passes Resolution On The Armenian Genocide With overwhelming support in the Delaware 144th General Assembly, a resolution proclaiming April 24 as a day of remembrance of the Armenian Genocide passed with a voice vote during the final hours prior to spring recess in the Delaware House of Representatives, reported the Armenian National Committee of America, Eastern Region. The resolution was introduced by junior State Representative, John A. Kowalko (D-25), and faced no opposition when it was brought for a vote by the General Assembly on Thursday, April 5, 2007. Similar legislation was passed in the Delaware Senate in 1995, making Delaware one of 38 States that recognize the Armenian Genocide. Both the United States House of Representatives and the Senate are working to pass H.Res 106/S. Res 106 respectively in recognition of the Armenian Genocide. A copy of the Delaware resolution will be sent to Delaware Congressman Mike Castle, (R-AL), as well as Senator Joe Biden (D) and Thomas Carper (D). Mike Kalajian, an Armenian activist led the efforts on this campaign. Working with his State Representative, Kowalko, he also contacted the ANCA to join forces on this important issue. After passage of the legislation, Kalajian commented, "My grandparents survived the Genocide and escaped from Turkey to America. Now, with so much violence in the Middle East, and with the Genocide in Darfur being reflective of the turmoil that resulted in the Armenian Genocide, I felt it important that everyone remembers the result of ignoring these events, and nothing shows this more than the Forgotten Genocide. A call to state Representative John Kowalko seemed like a great start." Kowalko, enthusiastic about the resolution, stated: "It was my privilege to honor your request that the Delaware General Assembly proclaim April 24 as a day of remembrance of the Armenian Genocide. On Thursday April 5 2007 the Delaware House of Representatives unanimously passed House Resolution No. 14 proclaiming the 24th as a day of remembrance and enumerating some of the horrors perpetuated on the Armenian people. I was particularly honored to present this resolution since it will officially record and acknowledge a moment in the history of mankind when man’s inhumanity to man and humankind’s disregard for a civilized morality was made horribly apparent. The attempt to systematically eliminate all traces of a noble civilization such as the Armenian culture is another shameful moment in the history of the world. In order to guard against recurrences of such base and shameful behavior we must freely admit that these types of horrors occurred and still occur. To paraphrase those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat its failures and failure to admit the moral failings of society will only ensure more decay. I am humbled to be able to present and record the true story of the persecution and debasement foisted upon such a noble civilization as the Armenia’s’ to recognize its greatness and to warn our future generations of the intolerance and hatred that can lurk just below the surface of humanity so that we may always guard against the base instincts of inhumane behavior."We want to thank Representative Kowalko for leading the efforts on passing this legislation, and the initiative taken by Mike to take the initiative to pass this resolution," commented ANC ER Director Karine Birazian.

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