Colorado State Senate Joint Resolution


April 24, 2007

"CONCERNING REMEMBRANCE OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE ON APRIL 24, 2007, AND EVERY APRIL 24 HEREAFTER, AS "COLORADO DAY OF REMEMBRANCE OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE"."


SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION 07-030

BY SENATOR(S) Tochtrop, Takis, Bacon, Boyd, Brophy, Fitz-Gerald, Gordon, Groff, Hagedorn, Harvey, Isgar, Johnson, Keller, Kopp, May R., McElhany, Mitchell S., Morse, Penry, Renfroe, Romer, Sandoval, Schultheis, Schwartz, Shaffer, Spence, Tapia, Taylor, Tupa, Ward, Wiens, Williams, and Windels; also REPRESENTATIVE(S) Garcia, Balmer, Benefield, Borodkin, Buescher, Butcher, Cadman, Carroll M., Carroll T., Casso, Cerbo, Curry, Fischer, Frangas, Gagliardi, Gallegos, Gardner B., Gardner C., Gibbs, Green, Hicks, Hodge, Jahn, Kefalas, Kerr A., Kerr J., King, Labuda, Lambert, Levy, Looper, Lundberg, Madden, Marostica, Marshall, Massey, May M., McFadyen, McGihon, McKinley, McNulty, Merrifield, Mitchell V., Peniston, Pommer, Primavera, Rice, Riesberg, Roberts, Romanoff, Rose, Solano, Sonnenberg, Soper, Stafford, Stephens, Summers, Todd, Vaad, Weissmann, White, and Witwer.

CONCERNING REMEMBRANCE OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE ON APRIL 24, 2007, AND EVERY APRIL 24 HEREAFTER, AS "COLORADO DAY OF REMEMBRANCE OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE".

WHEREAS, This year marks the 92nd anniversary of the first genocide of the 20th century, the Armenian Genocide, or what has been aptly named "The Forgotten Genocide", when 1.5 million men, women, and children of Armenian descent were victims of a brutal genocide perpetrated by the Turkish Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923; and

WHEREAS, 500,000 refugees escaped the regime of terror and established themselves in new foreign lands and, as a result, there are today only 100,000 ethnic Armenians living on Armenia's ancestral lands, which now lie within the borders of 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."; and

WHEREAS, Contemporary newspapers, such as the New York Times, carried headlines that read "Tales of Armenian Horrors Confirmed", "Million Armenians Killed", and "Wholesale Massacre of Armenians by Turks"; and

WHEREAS, The killing of the Armenian people was followed by the systematic destruction of churches, schools, libraries, treasures of art, and cultural monuments that continues to this day in an attempt to eliminate all traces of a noble civilization with a history of more than 3,000 years; 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, despite the acknowledgment of the Armenian atrocities as genocide by the International Association of Genocide Scholars, most western governments, and international organizations such as the United Nations; and

WHEREAS, Modern Turkey continues to persecute its citizens who acknowledge or refer to the Armenian Genocide, such as Nobel Prize winner in Literature Orhan Pamuk and Hrant Dink, the editor of the Armenian-Turkish weekly newspaper Agos, who was murdered by a Turkish nationalist on January 19, 2007; and

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

WHEREAS, Each year, Armenians throughout the world honor those who perished from 1915 to 1923, and all the world's people should commemorate the Armenian Genocide and condemn any attempt to deny its historical truth or mischaracterize the episode as anything less than genocide, the term coined by Raphael Lemkin in 1944, who referenced the Armenian massacres as a seminal example of such an atrocity, a crime against humanity; and

WHEREAS, We must 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 to better understand the necessity of eliminating hatred in their own communities; and

WHEREAS, We must fight against new injustices, such as the first genocide of the 21st century in Darfur; to that end, we commend Armenians of Colorado, Inc. for sponsoring Amnesty International "prisoner of conscience" Professor Taner Akcam's lecture A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility, at Denver's Mizel Museum; and

WHEREAS, We also encourage Coloradans to attend an evocative dual exhibit by the Mizel Museum and the Colorado Coalition for Genocide Awareness and Action (CCGAA), The Dead Weight of Complacency and 10 Glocal Artists Interpret Genocide, being shown through April 27, 2007; And

WHEREAS, We also encourage the people of Colorado to attend the evocative dual exhibition by the Mizel Museum and the Colorado Coalition for Genocide Awareness and Action (CCGAA), The Dead Weight of Complacency and 10 "Glocal" Artists Interpret Genocide, being shown through April 27; and

WHEREAS, For five consecutive years, this legislative body has passed a similar Joint Resolution in which the roll calls were added as co-sponsors designating April 24 as "Colorado Day of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide"; now, therefore,

Be It Resolved by the Senate of the Sixty-sixth 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 92nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, to be recognized at a memorial service to be held at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 22, 2007, at the Armenian Genocide memorial plaque located in the northeast quadrant of the State Capitol grounds;

2. That we, the members of the General Assembly, hereby acknowledge April 24, 2007, and every year hereafter, as "Colorado Day of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide"; and

3. That the General Assembly 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 the Honorable George W. Bush, President of the United States; the members of the Colorado Congressional Delegation; the members of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues; the Turkish Ambassador to the United States; the Honorable Bill Ritter, Governor of Colorado; Armenians of Colorado, Inc.; the Armenian Assembly of America in Washington, D.C.; and the Armenian National Committee of America in Washington, D.C.

[signed]
Joan Fitz-Gerald
PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

[signed]
Andrew Romanoff
SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

[signed]
Karen Goldman
SECRETARY OF THE SENATE

[signed]
Marilyn Eddins
CHIEF CLERK OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES