New Jersey State Governor


April 18, 2006

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STATE OF NEW JERSEY
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT

Proclamation

WHEREAS, from 1915 to 1923, 1.5 million Armenian people were systematically persecuted and executed by the governments of the Ottoman Empire in the first genocide of the twentieth century; and

WHEREAS, the genocide began on the night of April 24, 1915, when the Turkish government arrested more than 200 Armenian community leaders in Constantinople and hundreds more soon after; and

WHEREAS, the Armenian people were then systematically subject to deportation, expropriations, abduction, torture, massacre and starvation; and

WHEREAS, hundreds of thousands of Armenian men, women and children were forcible removed from their homes and deported to the Syrian Desert, where the majority of the deportees died of dehydration and starvation; and

WHEREAS, it is estimated that by 1918, approximately one million people had perished, while hundreds of thousands had become homeless and stateless refugees; and

WHEREAS, by 1923, the entire landmass of Asia Minor and historic West Armenia had been expunged of its Armenian population; and

WHEREAS, the Armenian-American people have a proud heritage and continue to make valuable contributions to the cultural, economic, social and political development of New Jersey; and

WHEREAS, April 24, 2006 serves as an important reminder of those who died in 1915 fighting for the rights of freedom of religion and freedom of conscience, a day that allow us to renew our vigilance against tyranny and promote the principles of human dignity and human rights worldwide; and

WHEREAS, the Armenian-American people commemorate the 91st Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide; and

WHEREAS, it is appropriate that we join with the Armenian-American community in New Jersey to commemorate the memory of the victims, in hopes that we, as a State and as individual citizens, will strive to overcome prejudice, hatred and indifference through learning, tolerance and remembrance;

WHEREAS, The Armenian-American Political Action Committee (ARMENPAC) is an independent, bipartisan political action committee, which raises awareness of, and advocates for, policies that help create peace, security and stability in the Caucasus region; and

WHEREAS, ARMENPAC along with Knights of Vartan, a fraternal organization, are dedicated to the memory of the 1.5 million victims of the 1915 Armenian Genocide and host a Commemoration Event in New York City; and

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JON S. CORZINE, Governor of the State of New Jersey, do hereby proclaim

APRIL 24, 2006
as
ARMENIAN MARTYRS DAY IN NEW JERSEY

GIVEN, under my hand and the Great Seal of the State of New Jersey, this eighteenth day of April in the year two thousand six and of the Independence of the United States, the two hundred and thirtieth.


[signed]
Jon S. Corzine
GOVERNOR

[SEAL]
BY THE GOVERNOR:

[signed]
Nina Mitchell Wells
SECRETARY OF STATE