May 12, 2015 (released April 30, 2015)
WASHINGTON, DC - On Thursday, April 30th, Dr. Rouben Adalian, Director of the Armenian National Institute (ANI), participated in a panel discussion on the Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide as part of the 22nd Annual Federal Inter-Agency Holocaust Remembrance Program at the historic Lincoln Theater in Washington, DC. The annual event is organized by the Federal Inter-Agency Committee.
Under the chairmanship of Tina Hoellerer, the committee is made up of volunteers across US federal government agencies including the Departments of State, Defense, Commerce, Education, Energy, Homeland Security, Treasury, Justice, Labor, as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Smithsonian Institution, US Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), and the White House Office of Public Engagement, among others.
On the occasion of the centenary of the Armenian Genocide, Dr. Adalian was invited to join the day's ceremony and a panel discussion with Holocaust survivors Dr. Miriam Klein Kassenoff (Czechoslovakia) and Margit Meissner (Austria).
Other speakers included Matt Nosanchuk, Director of Outreach on the National Security Council, who delivered the President's message, and Matt Bogoshian, Senior Policy Counsel at the Environmental Protection Agency. Local award-winning WJLA/ABC 7 news anchor Scott Thuman served as master of ceremonies and moderated the panel.
Participants also joined in a candle lighting ceremony as the Jewish prayer of faith Ani Ma'amin (I Believe) was sung by Dr. Amy K. Kwon, with a reading by Jeff Knishkowy, Senior Counsel in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, who explained the song's significance.
"I was deeply honored to be included in the Holocaust Remembrance Day program and I am grateful to the organizers for recalling the fate of the Armenians on the occasion of its centennial commemoration," stated Dr. Adalian.
Over 400 federal employees were in attendance. They were joined by Armenia's Ambassador to the United States H.E. Tigran Sargsyan, Armenian National Committee of America Executive Director Aram Hamparian, and other diplomatic and organizational representatives.
The Federal Inter-Agency Committee Holocaust Remembrance Program comes on the heels of the USHMM statement on the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. ANI, the Armenian Assembly of America, and the Armenian Genocide Museum of America praised the USHMM for their historic statement, which acknowledged that "The origins of the term 'genocide,' rest, in part, in the events of 1915-1916 in Anatolia, then part of the Ottoman Turkish empire."
Founded in 1997, the Armenian National Institute (ANI) is a 501(c)(3) educational charity based in Washington, DC, and is dedicated to the study, research, and affirmation of the Armenian Genocide.