New York State Governor


April 24, 2004

State of New York
,
Executive Chamber

Proclamation

Whereas, the Empire State is proud to commemorate events whose discussion contributes to our understanding of world history while promoting tolerance for other races, religions, and points of view; as a global leader in basic human and social rights, our State and its citizens have a prominent role in highlighting humanitarian concerns and teaching future generations the critical lessons that can be derived from mankind's past transgressions and the tragic consequences of intolerance; and

Whereas, the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923 was a catastrophic event during which an estimated 1.5 million Armenians were killed by the Ottoman authorities under whose imperial rule most Armenians lived; alongside their Greek and Assyrian imperial co-subjects, and singled out for their ethnicity and Christian faith, Armenian men, women and children met their end in mass killings, organized death marches, starvation tactics and other brutal methods employed against civilians; and

Whereas, the 20th century's first such calculated effort to destroy people on a massive scale, the Armenian Genocide led academics to coin and utilize the very term genocide and it is believed that, had the Armenian Genocide been stopped through diplomatic or interventionist means, the resulting precedent for peace could have prevented the Holocaust that befell the Jewish people; and

Whereas, the Armenian Genocide caused the bulk displacement of the Armenian people from their ancestral lands, the loss of two-thirds of the these lands and the orphaning of countless Armenian children; Armenians' expulsion from their ancient territories was so extreme that almost every Armenian-American family can trace its immigration history from the Genocide, to the loving Christian missionaries in the Middle East that housed children, to the European continent and --finally--to the United States; and

Whereas,New York proudly accepts leadership in acknowledging the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923 with recognition that the number of survivors is dwindling and that their courage and testimonials have put a human face on the documentary, photographic and journalistic evidence that supports this very real crime against people; armed with this evidence and with the memory of the elderly who experienced and witnessed its occurrence, the community rightfully seeks fullest recognition of the Genocide; and

Whereas, it is fitting that all New Yorkers appreciate the hardships Armenians faced, if not only for the purpose of preventing tragedies such as the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923 from reoccurring, then to understand better how the Unites States' role as a refuge for all oppressed peoples has been a noble one;

Now, Therefore, I, George E. Pataki, Governor of the State of New York, do hereby proclaim April 24, 2004 as

Armenian Remembrance Day

In the Empire State and offer the community hopes for success in educating the broader community during the 89th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

Given under my hand and the Privy Seal of the State
at the Capitol in the City of Albany this twenty-fourth
day of April in the
year two thousand four.

Signed George E. Pataki Governor