April 6, 2007
Between the years 1915 and 1923, during the chaos of World War I, over one million Armenian men, women and children living within the Ottoman Empire's borders were killed; forcing hundreds of thousands of Armenians to flee to foreign countries after being stripped of their possessions, their national identities and their homeland.
Scores fled to the United States, and California was fortunate to become home to one of the largest populations of Armenians outside the Republic of Armenia. Many of California's Armenian-American families are the descendents of these courageous genocide survivors, whose hope for a life independent war and violence was realized on our soil. Like their family members before them, the Armenian-American community bravely flourished and contributed much to our state and nation.
Documented as the first instance of genocide in the twentieth century, the Armenian Genocide remains unacknowledged to this day. I strongly echo the sentiments that all nations must examine their own painful histories, as the denial of genocide further wounds a nation's ability to heal. Though over ninety years have passed since these mass killings took place, present day atrocities resonate throughout the world. It is our responsibility to recognize the brutal slayings of so many innocents, remembering their suffering and vowing to help prevent future genocides.
I join California's Armenian-American communities and all Armenians worldwide in remembering those who were killed and persecuted during the Armenian Genocide, and urge people throughout the world to never forget these horrific crimes against humanity.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, Governor of the State of California, do hereby proclaim the week of April 22nd -- April 29th, 2007, as "Days of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide."
IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have here unto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this 6th day of April 2007.
GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA