April 24, 2009
Whereas, a global leader in human and social rights, the Empire State has a prominent role in highlighting humanitarian concerns and teaching future generations critical lessons derived from mankind's past transgressions and intolerance, and we acknowledge the importance of discussing such events that contribute to our understanding of world history while promoting tolerance for people of all races, religions and points of view; and
Whereas, the Armenian Genocide of 1915-23 was a catastrophic event during which an estimated 1.5 million Armenians were killed by the Ottoman authorities under whose imperial rule most Armenians lived; alongside their Greek and Assyrian imperial co-subjects, Armenian men, woman and children met their end in mass killings, organized death marches, starvation tactics and other brutal methods employed against civilians; and
Whereas, a deliberate effort to destroy people on a massive scale, the Armenian Genocide led academics to use the term genocide and it is believed that, had the Armenian Genocide been stopped through diplomatic or interventionist means, the resulting precedent for peace could have prevented the Holocaust that befell the Jewish people; and
Whereas, the Armenian Genocide caused the displacement of the Armenian people from their ancestral lands, the loss of two-thirds of the these lands and the orphaning of countless Armenian children; Armenians' expulsion from their ancient territories was so extreme that almost every Armenian-American family can trace its immigration history to the Genocide and to the missionaries in the Middle East that housed children, the European continent, and ultimately to the United States; and
Whereas, New York recognizes that the number of survivors of the Armenian Genocide of 1915-23 is dwindling and the memory of the elderly who experienced and witnessed its occurrence has led to courageous testimonials that have put a human face on this event; and
Whereas, it is fitting that all New Yorkers recognize the hardships Armenians faced, for the purpose of preventing tragedies such as the Armenian Genocide of 1915-23 from recurring, and to appreciate the United State's role as a refuge for all oppressed people;
Now, Therefore, I, David A. Paterson, Governor of the State of New York, do hereby proclaim April 24, 2009 as
ARMENIAN REMEMBRANCE DAY
in the Empire State and join with the entire community in commemorating the 94th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
G i v e n under my hand and the Privy Seal of the State at the Capitol in the City of Albany this thirtieth day of March in the year two thousand nine.
David A. Paterson
Secretary to the Governor