Colorado State Senate Joint Resolution

April 10, 2006

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"Senate Joint Resolution 06-023 Concerning remembrance of the Armenian Genocide on April 24, 2006, and every April 24 thereafter, as "Colorado Day of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide", adopted by the Colorado Sixty-fifth General Assembly."


BY SENATOR(S) Tochtrop, Lamborn, Bacon, Boyd, Brophy, Dyer, Entz, Evans, Fitz-Gerald, Gordon, Groff, Grossman, Isgar, Johnson, Jones, Keller, Kester, May R., McElhany, Mitchell, Owen, Sandoval, Shaffer, Spence, Takis, Tapia, Taylor, Teck, Traylor, Tupa, Veiga, Wiens, Williams, and Windels;
also REPRESENTATIVE(S) Garcia, Balmer, Benefield, Berens, Borodkin, Buescher, Butcher, Cadman, Carroll M., Carroll T., Cerbo, Clapp, Cloer, Coleman, Crane, Curry, Decker, Frangas, Gallegos, Gardner, Green, Hall, Harvey, Hefley, Hodge, Hoppe, Jahn, Judd, Kerr A., Kerr J., King, Knoedler, Larson, Lindstrom, Liston, Lundberg, Madden, Marshall, Massey, May M., McCluskey, McFadyen, McGihon, McKinley, Merrifield, Paccione, Penry, Plant, Pommer, Ragsdale, Riesberg, Romanoff, Rose, Schultheis, Solano, Soper, Stafford, Stengel, Sullivan, Todd, Vigil, Weissmann, Welker, White, and Witwer.


WHEREAS, This year marks the 91st anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, during which 1.5 million men, women, and children of Armenian descent were victims of the brutal genocide perpetrated by the Turkish Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923; and

WHEREAS, An additional 500,000 Armenians were exiled, and 500,000 were able to escape the regime of terror and establish themselves in new foreign lands, and, as a result, today there are only 100,000 people of Armenian heritage left residing within the borders of modern 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. 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 or in Exile", and "Wholesale Massacre of Armenians by Turks"; and

WHEREAS, The term "genocide" was coined by international law scholar Raphael Lemkin in 1943, and he referenced the Armenian massacres as a seminal example of such an atrocity, a crime against humanity; and

WHEREAS, The Armenian Genocide has been acknowledged by countries and international bodies such as Argentina, Belgium, Canada, the Council of Europe, Cyprus, the European parliament, France, Great Britain, Greece, Lebanon, Russia, the United Nations, and Uruguay; 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; 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 join them in commemoration of the Armenian Genocide and condemnation of any attempt to deny its historical truth or mischaracterize the episode as anything less than genocide; and

WHEREAS, We must all 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 better understand the necessity of eliminating hatred in our own communities, and to that end, we support the efforts of Armenians of Colorado, Inc., to encourage the educators in Colorado to include the Armenian Genocide in the school curriculum; and

WHEREAS, We also commend our local PBS stations KRMA and KBDI for airing the documentary "The Armenian Genocide" by filmmaker Andrew Goldberg, scheduled for April 17th and April 26th, respectively, and we encourage our legislative colleagues to watch the program; and

WHEREAS, For four 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"; and

WHEREAS, Armenian Americans living in Colorado have greatly enriched our state through their leadership in business, agriculture, academia, government, and the arts; now, therefore,

Be It Resolved by the Senate of the Sixty fifth 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 91st anniversary of the Armenian Genocide to be recognized at a memorial service on Sunday, April 23, 2006, at the Armenian Genocide memorial plaque located in the northeast quadrant on the State Capitol grounds;

(2) That we, the members of the General Assembly, hereby acknowledge April 24, 2006, and every April 24 of each 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, which Colorado Congressmen Mark Udall and Bob Beauprez have joined; the Honorable Bill Owens, Governor of Colorado; the Armenian Assembly of America in Washington, D.C.; and the Armenian National Committee in Washington, D.C.

Joan Fitz-Gerald

Andrew Romanoff

Karen Goldman

Marilyn Eddins