Michigan State Senate

April 23, 2015

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Senate Resolution No. 40

Offered by Senators Knollenberg, Kowall, Bieda, Booher, Brandenburg, Colbeck, Green, Gregory, Hansen, Hertel, Hildenbrand, Hopgood, Horn, MacGregor, Marleau, O'Brien, Pavlov, Proos, Robertson, Schuitmaker, Stamas and Warren


WHEREAS, On Apri1 24, 1915, the Ottoman Turkish government began a premeditated campaign of ethnic cleansing and genocide against its Christian Armenian minority population, resulting in the death of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians that continued until 1923; and

WHEREAS, On July 16, 1915, U.S. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, Henry Morgenthau, wrote to the U.S. Secretary of State, Robert Lansing, and reported: "Deportation of and excesses against peaceful Armenians is increasing and from harrowing reports of eye witnesses it appears that a campaign of race extermination is in progress"; and

WHEREAS, On May 28, 1951, the United States government submitted a statement to the International Criminal Court which stated: "The Roman persecution of the Christians, the Turkish massacres of Armenians, the extermination of millions of Jews and Poles by the Nazis are examples of the crime of genocide"; and

WHEREAS, The U.S. House of Representatives has officially acknowledged the 1915 Armenian Genocide through adopted legislation in 1975 and 1984; and

WHEREAS, On Apri122, 1981, President Ronald Reagan issued a proclamation which stated: "Like the genocide of the Armenians before it, and the genocide of the Cambodians which followed it--and like too many other such persecutions of too many other peoples--the lessons of the Holocaust must never be forgotten"; and

WHEREAS, The state of Michigan recognizes the Armenian Genocide and the importance of teaching about it in the state of Michigan. Recognition and reaffirmation of this tragedy educates people about the horrors of man's inhumanity to man and works to prevent future occurrences of genocides; and

WHEREAS, We call on the people of the United States and the state of Michigan to observe such day as a day of remembrance for all the victims of genocide, especially those of Armenian ancestry; and

WHEREAS, Armenian Americans contribute richly to Michigan's social mosaic and add to the political, educational, and economic development of this state; now, therefore, be it,

RESOLVED BY THE SENATE, That educators in the state of Michigan are encouraged to teach about human rights, the Armenian Genocide, and the consequences of genocide denial beginning at the high school level.

Adopted by the Senate, April 23, 2015.