Gubernatorial Proclamation


March 19, 2019

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PROCLAMATION

WHEREAS, during the Armenian Genocide from 1915-1923, one and one-half million ethnic Armenian men, women and children as well as over one million Greeks, Assyrians, Syriacs and others were massacred as part of the planned complete eradication of those indigenous communities by the Ottoman Turkish Empire during the first modern genocide that still requires justice; and

WHEREAS, Near East Relief’s efforts, with the active participation of the State of Alabama, resulted in delivering unprecedented 117 million dollars of assistance from the American people between 1915 and 1930, that directly resulted in the salvation of the Christian Armenian, Greek, and Assyrian survivors from being completely annihilated by the genocide; and

WHEREAS, Raphael Lemkin cited both the systemic destruction of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire and the Jews, Gypsies, Poles and others by the Nazis when he coined the word Genocide in 1943; and

WHEREAS, the United States government first officially acknowledged the Armenian Genocide in 1951, in a document submitted to the International Court of Justice; and

WHEREAS, the Republic of Armenia, the Hellenic Republic, the Republic of Cyprus, and the Republic of Artsakh are now free, independent, democratic states and strategic allies of the United States of America in the region; and

WHEREAS, other cases of genocide include the killings in Cambodia in 1975, the massacres in Bosnia in 1992, the slaughter in Rwanda in 1994 and now in the 21st century, the displacements and deaths in Darfur as well as targeting of religious minorities by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the Middle East; and

WHEREAS, the United States House of Representatives adopted H. Con. Res. 75 in 2016, declaring the atrocities perpetrated by the ISIL against Christians, Yezidis and other religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq and Syria war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide; and

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Kay Ivey, Governor of Alabama, do hereby proclaim April 2019 as GENOCIDE AWARENESS MONTH in the State of Alabama.