New York State Governor

April 21, 2001


Whereas, the Empire State has a special role in acknowledging events in world history which have had a meaningful impact on our Nation's ethnic, cultural and religious landscape; many of New York's citizens have a learned appreciation for humanitarian causes that comes from their homeland's history or the circumstances of their coming to America in search of opportunities offered only in this great country; and

Whereas, the Armenian Genocide of 1915-23 -- a tragedy that took the lives of an estimated 1.5 million Armenian men, women and children -- was one such occurrence; this mass killing was a deliberate act by the Ottoman Turkish Government to eliminate the Armenian people; cruel methods that included outright killings of civilians and food and water deprivation during forced marches across harsh, arid terrain proved successful for the perpetrators of genocide, who harbored a prejudice against their Armenian, Greek and Assyrian Christian subjects; at the time, former President Theodore Roosevelt said the Armenian Genocide was "the greatest crime" of World War I; and

Whereas, the Empire State praises the forward-thinking group of international and local legislatures that have acknowledged the Armenian Genocide of 1915-23 during this Genocide recognition cycle; various nations in both hemispheres and many localities across our Nation have entered into their public records the details of this tragedy and have done so prior to the U.S. Congress, a body that is rarely reluctant to express its opinion on matters of human rights; and

Whereas, the previous White House Administration, yielding to pressure from opponents of Armenian Genocide recognition, successfully convinced Congressional leaders to deny passage of a House Resolution acknowledging the Genocide to come to a vote last session; that regrettable action and its result are sources of disappointment for all who desire to see the Armenian Genocide recognized as it should be, and only serves to delay its upcoming full acknowledgment amid the Genocide recognition community's ongoing, worthwhile efforts; and

Whereas, it is fitting that all New Yorkers of good will join the Armenian-American community in their annual observance of the Armenian Genocide of 1915-23, with hopes that many more citizens of our great Nation and the world community become aware of this tragic chapter in the history of mankind;

Now, Therefore, I, George E. Pataki, Governor of the State of New York, do hereby proclaim Tuesday, April 24, 2001 as


in the Empire State.