City of Burbank

April 24, 1990

Proclamation by the City of Burbank, California

75th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide

The City of Burbank proclaims April 24, 1990 as the Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide organized and implemented by the government of Ottoman Turkey, 1915-1923.

75 years ago today, on April 24, 1915, the Ottoman Turkish Government rounded up and executed the intellectual, cultural, and spiritual leaders of the Armenian Community living in Turkey. This was the beginning of the elimination of the Armenian people and culture that had existed for over 3000 years in what is today Eastern Turkey.

During the years 1915 to 1923, 1.5 million Armenian men, women, and children were tortured and then murdered. Over 905 of the Armenian population in Turkey were killed. "no hamlet was too insignificant to be missed." (Dr. Herbert A. Gibbons, The Blackest Page of Modern History, Putnam, NY, 1916)

Henry Morgenthau, US Ambassador to Turkey, 1913 to 1916, stated that "When Turkish authorities gave the orders for these deportations, they wee merely giving the death warrant to a whole race; they understood this well, and, in their conversations with me, they made no particular attempt to conceal the fact." (Ambassador Morgenthau's Story, Doubleday, Garden City, 1918)

Today, a survivor of the Armenian Genocide, Haig Baronian is with us. Haig was seven years old when he witnessed the destruction of his entire family. His father and uncles were arrested and executed. Haig, his mother, four sisters, baby brother, and grandmother were sent on a death march. They were forced to walk for weeks tortured and beaten along the way. Haig was the only one of his family to survive. He was forciblebly adopted by Turks, but was soon sent away by government decree with thousands of other children to the cliffs to die, their only consolation was that they would be joining their parents in heaven. Haig escaped death again and again to be one of the lucky few finally saved by American Missionaries.

The pattern of genocide that Armenians have faced is not the first, except in its shear magnitude and the denial that followed. The US Holocaust Memorial Council describes the Armenian Genocide as the "grim prelude" and unfortunate source of "inspiration" to Hitler in his plan to exterminate the Jews. In Hitler's own words he asked "who remembers the Armenians." As long as genocide is denied and forgotten, we can never be sure it will not happen again. Today, the City of Burbank remembers.

Cynthia A. Broussalian
819 So. 6th St. #302
Burbank, CA 91501
work: 213-491-8133 home: 818-843-5783.