April 24, 2008
SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION 08-024
BY SENATOR(S) Tochtrop, Bacon, Boyd, Brophy, Gibbs, Gordon, Groff, Hagedorn, Harvey, Isgar, Johnson, Keller, Kester, Kopp, Mitchell S., Morse, Renfroe, Romer, Sandoval, Schultheis, Schwartz, Shaffer, Spence, Takis, Tapia, Taylor, Veiga, Weins, Williams, and Windels;
also REPRESENTATIVE(S) Peniston, Balmer, Benefield, Borodkin, Buescher, Butcher, Carroll M., Casso, Curry, Ferrandino, Fischer, Frangas, Gagliardi, Gallegos, Gardner B., Gardner C., Garza-Hicks, Green, Hodge, Jahn, Kefalas, Kerr A., Kerr J., King, Labuda, Lambert, Levy, Liston, Looper, Lundberg, Madden, Massey, May M., McFayden, McGihon, McNulty, Merrifield, Middleton, Mitchell V., Pommer, Primavera, Rice, Riesberg, Roberts, Romanoff, Rose, Solano, Sonnenberg, Soper, Stafford, Stephens, Summers, Swalm, Todd, Vaad, Weismann, White, and Witwer.
CONCERNING REMEMBRANCE OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE ON APRIL 24, 2008, AND EVERY YEAR HEREAFTER, AS "COLORADO DAY OF REMEMBRANCE OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE".
WHEREAS,This year marks the 93rd 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, 50,000 refugees were able to escape the regime of terror and establish themselves in new foreign lands, and, as a result, there are only a few thousand indigenous Armenians living within the borders of modern Turkey; and
WHEREAS, The former 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 injustices 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."; 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, 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, 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 the 2006 Nobel Prize winner for Literature, Orhan Pamuk, and the editor of the Armenian-Turkish weekly newspaper Agos, Hrant Dink, 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
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Armenian massacres as a seminal example of such an atrocity, a crime against humanity; and
WHEREAS, We must all fight against new injustices, such as the first genocide of the 21st century in Darfur and the Turkish government's support for the Sudanese regime, an example of how the cycle of genocide continues with impunity; and
WHEREAS, We commend Armenians of Colorado, Inc., for sponsoring a lecture by Harvard Professor David L. Nersessian, JD, PhD, entitled "The Power of a Word -- Recognition of the Armenian Genocide as a Path to Reconciliation", held at the University of Denver on Saturday, April 19, 2008; now therefore,
Be it Resolved by the Senate of the Sixthhy-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 93rd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, to be recognized at a memorial service at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 27, 2008, at the Armenian Genocide memorial plaque in the Armenian Garden, located in the northeast quadrant on the State Capitol grounds; and
(2) That we, the members of the General Assembly, hereby acknowledge April 24, 2008, and April 24 of every year hereafter, as "Colorado Day of Remembrance of 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; Nabi Sensoy, the Turkish Ambassador to the United States; Ross L. Wilson, the United States Ambassador to Turkey; the Honorable Bill Ritter, Governor of Colorado; the Armenian Assembly of America in Washington D.C.; the Armenian
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National Committee in Washington, D.C.; and the Turkish Embassy in Washington, D.C.
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