April 24, 2005
Ninety years ago today, the Ottoman Turkish government waged a war of terror on Armenian culture through the brutal deportation, imprisonment and decimation of men, women and children of Armenian descent.
By 1923, the Ottoman Empire had dissolved, but its monstrous attempt at ethnic cleansing left more than 1.5 million Armenians massacred and 500,000 survivors forcibly exiled from their ancestral homeland.
Today, the Republic of Armenia remains as the world's remainder of the Armenian Genocide and of the indestructible spirit of a people. It is a nation founded on the principles of freedom and democracy that we as Americans prize above all else. Our state's flourishing Armenian-American population- the largest outside of Armenia- has left its indelible stamp on our state's history, industry and culture.
Each year, the Day of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide brings an opportunity for all people to scrutinize the cause and consequence of this grim massacre. To carve out a secure future free for intolerance and persecution, we must examine the past and heed history's lessons of forewarning- for the sake of future generations who inherit our civilization.
In 1969, then-Governor Ronald Reagan said, "Today, I humbly bow in memory of the Armenian martyrs, who died in the name of freedom." On the 90th anniversary of this great human tragedy, Californians continue to join with freedom-loving people around the world to honor the Armenian people as they continue to show the world the true meaning of hope, renewal and perseverance.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, Governor of the State of California, do hereby proclaim April 24, 2005, as a "Day of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide."