Michigan State House Resolution

April 13, 2005

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Reps. Taub, Garfield, Accavitti, Acciavatti, Adamini, Bieda, Byrum, Condino, Dillon, Gillard, Gleason, Gonzales, Gosselin, Green, Hildenbrand, Hopgood, Kooiman, Lemmons, III, Lemmons, Jr., Lipsey, Mayes, McConico, Meyer, Miller, Mortimer, Pavlov, Pearce, Phillips, Polidori, Alma Smith, Stahl, Stakoe, Tobocman, Vagnozzi, Vander Veen, Wojno, Zelenko, Ball, Drolet, Proos and Caul offered the following resolution:

House Resolution No. 47.

A resolution commemorating April 24, 2005, as Michigan’s Day of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923.

Whereas, Each year, on April 24th, all Armenians observe the anniversary of the Turkish crime of genocide that shocked the sensibilities of the civilized world. The Armenians pause on this day to mourn and honor the memory of kinfolk by appropriate religious and civil ceremonies; and

Whereas, April 24th is more than an Armenian day of mourning. The denial of justice is morally affecting all mankind. Therefore, April 24th is a day on which each year the Armenians remind the world community that their problems, with which it has been plagued without surcease, will remain insoluble so long as justice is ignored; and

Whereas, One and one-half million men, women, and children of Armenian descent were victims of the brutal genocide perpetrated by the Turkish Ottoman Empire from 1915-1923. The Armenian Genocide and massacres of the Armenian people represented a deliberate attempt to eliminate all traces of a thriving noble civilization over 3,000 years old. The Armenian people have not received reparations for their losses. To this day revisionists still inexplicably deny the existence of these horrific events; and

Whereas, Prior to the invasion of Poland in 1939, Adolf Hitler, the German Nazi dictator, seeking to dispel fears among his military command regarding the world’s response to his genocidal plans, asked “Who, after all, today speaks of the Armenians?”; and

Whereas, The world must be reminded that this unpunished act of genocide of the Armenians in 1915 in no small measure contributed to the genocide of the Jewish and Polish populations in World War II; and,

Whereas, Recognition of the 90th anniversary of this genocide is crucial to ensure against the repetition of future genocides and educate people about the atrocities connected to this horrific event; and

Whereas, The Legislature, through Public Act 558 of 2002, established April 24th as Michigan Day of remembrance of the Armenian genocide. It also declared the period beginning on the Sunday before the 24th through the following Sunday to be the days of remembrance in this state; and

Whereas, Armenia is now a free and independent republic, having embraced democracy following nearly 70 years of oppressive Soviet domination; and

Whereas, Armenian-Americans living in Michigan have greatly enriched our state through their leadership in business, agriculture, academia, government, and the arts; and

Whereas, We join Armenian-Americans and the Armenian community abroad to mourn the loss of so many innocent lives. But, the lessons learned must contribute to the development of international intervention principles and human rights awareness; now, therefore, be it Resolved by the House of Representatives, That the members of this legislative body commemorate April 24, 2005, as Michigan’s Day of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923; and be it further

Resolved, That copies of this resolution be forwarded to the Department of Legislative Services, the Honorable Governor, Jennifer Granholm, the Honorable Lieutenant Governor, John Cherry, the Honorable Senate Majority Leader, Ken Sikkema, and the Honorable Speaker of the House of Representatives, Craig DeRoche.