New York State Legislature


April 19, 2002

J4589 MALTESE
Senators Maltese, Brown, DeFrancisco, Farley, Gentile, Gonzalez, Hannon, Hassell-Thompson, Hoffmann, Johnson, Kuhl, Lachman, Lack, Larkin, LaValle, Marcellino, Marchi, Mariarz, McGee, Meier, Mendez, M

STATUS
Resolutions, Legislative
TITLE... Commemorating the 87th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide on April 19, 2002
03/25/02 REFERRED TO FINANCE
03/26/02 REPORTED TO CALANDER FOR CONSIDERATION
03/26/02 ADOPTED

NEW YORK STATE LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION commemorating the 87th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide on April 19, 2002

WHEREAS, This Resolution arises from a sense of human decency and respect for the Armenian people and their history; and

WHEREAS, Towards the end of the 19th Century, the Turkish Government began to systematically persecute their citizens of Armenian heritage; and

WHEREAS, From 1894 to 1896, Sultan Abdu-Hamid II ordered the massacre of 300,000 Armenians living within the boundaries of the Turkish Empire; and

WHEREAS, In 1909, 30,000 more Armenian men, women and children were slaughtered by Turkish armies in the mountain village of Cilicia; and

WHEREAS, Nonetheless, by the onset of World War I, there still remained 2,500,000 Armenians who made their homes within the Ottoman Empire; of these, over 250,000 were faithful soldiers who loyally fought within the ranks of its armies in an effort to defend their homeland; and

WHEREAS, On April 24, 1915, hundreds of Armenian religious, political and intellectual leaders were rounded up, exiled and eventually murdered in secret death camps hidden in mountainsides; and

WHEREAS, Over the course of the next six months, the Armenian soldiers on active duty in the army were disarmed and placed in forced labor battalions, whereupon many either starved or were summarily executed behind the fences of these camps; and

WHEREAS, Deprived of their leaders and the young men who could defend these helpless communities, the remaining Armenians became an easy target for the government raids and found themselves at the mercy of cruel and often barbaric persecutors; and

WHEREAS, A total of 1,500,000 Armenian men, women and children were massacred; 500,000 more were exiled; and 500,000 were able to escape the reign of terror and establish themselves in new foreign lands; as a result, today there are only 100,000 people of Armenian heritage left residing within the borders of modern Turkey; and

WHEREAS, The devastation which resulted from this "ethnic cleansing" practiced by the rulers of the Ottoman Empire occurred in a similar ratio to that caused by the Jewish Holocaust of 1940, yet most of the world's peoples do not realize the gravity of the Armenian Genocide; and

WHEREAS, The Armenian people have been denied the right to self-determination on their ancestral lands; they have received no form of reparations for their tragic losses; and

WHEREAS, Members of the Armenian community honor the memory of the victims of this genocide and emphasize that crimes against humanity must be condemned and never be allowed; now therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to commemorate the 87th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide to be recognized at a reception on Friday, April 19, 2002, at the New York Hemsley Hotel, New York, New York; and be it further

RESOLVED, That this Resolution is intended to counter the tide of revisionist history which purports that the Armenian Genocide never took place; and be it further

RESOLVED, that this Resolution is intended to counter the tide of revisionist history which purports that the Armenian Genocide never took place; and be it further

RESOLVED, that copies of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be transmitted to Alex Sarafian, Chairman, Armenian National Committee of New York and Friends of ANC-NY.