Colorado State Senate Joint Resolution


April 24, 2005

State of Colorado Senate Joint Resolution 05-022

BY SENATOR(S) Tochtrop, Takis, Anderson, Bacon, Dyer, Entz, Evans, Fitz-Gerald, Gordon, Groff, Grossman, Hagedorn, Hanna, Hillman, Isgar, Johnson, Jones, Keller, Kester, Lamborn, May R., EcElhany, Mitchell, Owen, Sandoval, Shaffer, Spence, Tapia, Taylor, Teck, Tupa, Veiga, Wiens, Williams, and Windels;

Also REPRESENTATIVE(S) Romanoff, Benefield, Berens, Borodkin, Boyd, Brophy, Buescher, Butcher, Cadman, Carroll M., Carroll T., Cerbo, Clapp, Cloer, Coleman, Crane, Curry, Decker, Frangas, Gallegos, Garcia, Green, Hall, Hefley, Hodge, Hoppe, Jahn, Kerr, King, Knoedler, Larson, Lindstrom, Liston, Lundberg, Madden, Marshall, Massey, May M., McCluskey, McFayden, McGihon, McKinley, Merrifield, Paccione, Penry, Plant, Ragsdale, Riesberg, Rose, Schultheis, Solano, Soper, Stafford, Stengel, Sullivan, Todd, Vigil, Weissmann, Welker, and Witmer.

CONCERNING REMEMBRANCE OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE ON APRIL 24, 2005, AND EVERY APRIL 24 HEREAFTER, AS "COLORADO DAY OF REMEMBRANCE OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE".

WHEREAS, This year marks the 90th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, when 1.5 million men, women, and children of Armenian descent were victims of the brutal genocide perpetrated by the Turkish Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923, 500,000 people of Armenian heritage left residing with the borders of modern Turkey; and

WHEREAS, The United States Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire Henry Morgenthau, Sr., stated, "Whatever crimes the most perverted instincts of the human mind can devise, and whatever refinements of persecutions and injustice the most debased imagination can conceive, became the daily misfortunes of this devoted people. I am confident that the whole history of the human race contains no such horrible episode as this. The great massacres and persecutions of the past seem almost insignificant when compared to the sufferings of the Armenian race in 1915. The killing of the Armenian people was accomplished by the systematic destruction of churches, schools, libraries, treasures of art, and cultural monuments in an attempt to eliminate all traces of a noble civilization with a history of more than 3,000 years."; and

WHEREAS, Contemporary newspapers, such as the New York Times, carried headlines detailing the genocide, including "Tales of Armenian Horrors Confirmed", "Million Armenians Killed or in Exile", and "Wholesale Massacre of Armenians by Turks"; and

WHEREAS, The Armenian genocide has been acknowledged by countries and international bodies such as Argentina, Belgium, Canada, the Council of Europe, Cyprus, the European Parliament, France, Great Britain, Greece, Lebanon, Russia, the United Nations, and Uruguay; and

WHEREAS, Modern Turkey continues to deny and distort the facts of the genocide and to honor the perpetrators of that crime against humanity as national heroes; and WHEREAS, The Armenian people have been denied the right to self-determination on their ancestral lands and have received no form of reparation for this tragic loss; and

WHEREAS, Each year Armenians throughout the world honor those who perished from 1915 to 1923, and all people of the world should commemorate the Armenian genocide and condemn any attempt to deny its historical truth or mischaracterize the episode as anything less than genocide, a crime against humanity; and

WHEREAS, We must all do our best to raise awareness about the Armenian genocide, not only because it is an undeniable chapter of world history, but also because learning more about this unconscionable tragedy will help people better understand the necessity of eliminating hatred in their own communities. To that end, we support the efforts of Armenians of Colorado, Inc., to encourage the educators in Colorado to include the Armenian genocide in the school curriculum; and

WHEREAS, Residents of Colorado are highly sensitive to the need to consistently remembering and openly condemning the crimes committed against any culture or people to prevent similar atrocities in the future; and

WHEREAS, For three consecutive years this legislative body unanimously passed a similar join resolution in which the roll calls were added as co-sponsors designating April 24 as "Colorado Day of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide", and

WHEREAS, Armenian-Americans living in Colorado have greatly enriched our state through their leadership in business, agriculture, academia, government, and the arts; now, therefore,

Be It Resolved by the Senate of the Sixty-fifth General Assembly of the State of Colorado, the House of Representatives concurring herein:

(1)

That this legislative body pause in its deliberations to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Armenian genocide to be recognized at a memorial service on Sunday, April 24, 2005, at the Armenian genocide memorial plaque located in the northeast quadrant on the State Capitol grounds.

(2)

That we, the members of the General Assembly, hereby acknowledge April 24, 2005, and every April 24 hereafter, as "Colorado Day of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide".

(3)

That the State of Colorado respectfully urges the United States Congress to likewise commemorate the Armenian genocide.

Be It Further Resolved, That copies of this Joint Resolution be sent to United States President George W. Bush, Colorado Governor Bill Owens, the members of the Colorado Congressional Delegation, the Armenian Assembly of America in Washington, D.C., and the Armenian National Committee in Washington, D.C.

(signed)

Joan Fitz-Gerald, President of The Senate

Andrew Romanoff, Speaker of The House of Representatives

Karen Goldman, Secretary of The Senate

Marilyn Eddins, Chief Clerk of The House of Representatives