April 24, 2001
WHEREAS, the Armenian Genocide was conceived and carried out by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923, resulting in the deportation of nearly 2,000,000 Armenians, of whom 1,500,000 men, women, and children were killed, 500,000 survivors were expelled from their homes, and which succeeded in the elimination of the over 2,500-year presence of Armenians in their historic homeland; and
WHEREAS, the unfolding Armenian Genocide was reported in newspapers across Minnesota; moreover, in their editorials of October 5 and 8, 1915, the Minneapolis Journal and Minneapolis Tribune unambiguously condemned as genocidal the measures then in progress against the Armenians; and
WHEREAS, the failure of the domestic and international authorities to exact justice from those responsible for the Armenian Genocide is a reason why genocides have continued to recur, and may occur again in the future; and
WHEREAS, a firm international and judicial response at that time would have spared humanity needless suffering; and
WHEREAS, the tragedy of the Armenian Genocide has been acknowledged by countries and international bodies including Argentina, Belgium, Canada, the Council of Europe, Cyprus, the European Parliament, France, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Russia, Sweden, the Vatican, the United Nations, the United States, and Uruguay, and by Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush, and by twenty-four states of the United States; and
WHEREAS, one hundred twenty-six of the world's leading scholars of the Holocaust, including Prof. Stephen Feinstein, Director of the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, University of Minnesota, have affirmed that the World War I Armenian Genocide is an incontestable historical fact and accordingly urge the governments of Western Democracies to likewise recognize it as such; and
WHEREAS, in recognition of the significant contributions of the Armenian-American community to our city and state, I proclaimed 1999 to be Armenian Centennial Year in the City of Minneapolis; and
WHEREAS, on the anniversary of the onset of the Armenian Genocide, which is traditionally observed on April 24, it is fitting that all people of goodwill join the Armenian-American community in commemoration of this crime against humanity.
NOW THEREFORE I, Sharon Sayles Belton, Mayor of the City of Minneapolis, do hereby proclaim April 24, 2001 as Armenian Rememberance Day in the City of Minneapolis.
Sharon Sayles Belton
Mayor of Minneapolis