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Wednesday, October 24, 2007
 

ARMENIAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE OF NEW YORK

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release ~ 2004-05-05
Contact: Tony Vartanian ~ tonyvartanian@hotmail.com

GOVERNOR PATAKI COMMEMORATES ARMENIAN GENOCIDE

"Armenian Remembrance Day" Proclamation Presented to Armenian Genocide Survivor

NEW YORK, NY--During a recent ceremony at New York Governor George E. Pataki's Manhattan Executive offices, the Governor's annual "Armenian Remembrance Day" Proclamation was presented to Armenian Genocide survivor Perouze Ipekjian, reported the Armenian National Committee (ANC) of New York. Representing Governor Pataki was Charles A. Gargano, Chairman and CEO Empire State Development Corporation.

"The Armenian American community of New York and Armenians worldwide thank Governor Pataki for recalling this important chapter of history each year," stated ANC of New York Chairman Tony Vartanian. "Governor Pataki's leadership in properly commemorating the Armenian Genocide is a model for all to recognize and follow," continued Vartanian.

"Through his continuous leadership Governor Pataki has proven that he is a firm believer in commemorating past atrocities in an effort to prevent future tragedies," concluded Vartanian.

James V. Barcia, acting Director of Community Affairs for the Governor, served as Master of Ceremonies. Following his introductory statement, Barcia introduced Charles Gargano who made a few comments on behalf of Governor Pataki and presented the Gubernatorial Proclamation to Perouze Ipekjian.

The Governor's official statement (full text below) states "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, and singled out for their ethnicity and Christian faith, Armenian men, woman and children met their end in mass killings, organized death marches, starvation tactics and other brutal methods employed against civilians."

The proclamation further notes, "New York proudly accepts leadership in acknowledging the Armenian Genocide of 1915-23 with recognition that the number of survivors is dwindling and that their courageous testimonials have put a human face on the documentary, photographic and journalistic evidence that supports this very real crime against people; armed with this evidence and with the memory of the elderly who experienced and witnessed its occurrence, the community rightfully seeks fullest recognition of the Genocide."

After the presentation of the “Armenian Remembrance Day” Proclamation, His Eminence Oshagan Choloyan, Prelate of the Armenian Apostolic Church of the Eastern United States, offered his thoughts on the importance of remembering the Armenian Genocide. Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Executive Director Aram Hamparian and Armenian Assembly of America (AAA) Executive Director Ross Vartian also had an opportunity to address the gathering.

Also participating in the program were Aggie Ellian of the New York Armenian Home in Flushing, New York; ANC of New York Chairman Tony Vartanian; Antovk Pidedjian, Esq.; and Rev. Fr. Untzag Nalbandian, the director of programs and ministries for the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern) and pastor of the Church of the Holy Ascension (Trumball, CT), who represented Archbishop Khajag Barsamian.

Closing the ceremony was Archbishop Choloyan, who offered the benediction.

The Armenian National Committee is the largest Armenian American grassroots political organization in New York and nationwide. The ANC actively advances a broad range of issues of concern to the Armenian American community.

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FULL TEXT OF PROCLAMATION
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P r o c l a m a t i o n

Whereas, the Empire State is proud to commemorate events whose discussion contributes to our understanding of world history while promoting tolerance for other races, religions and points of view; as a global leader in basic human and social rights, our State and its citizens have a prominent role in highlighting humanitarian concerns and teaching future generations the critical lessons that can be derived from mankind's past transgressions and the tragic consequences of intolerance; 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, and singled out for their ethnicity and Christian faith, 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, the 20th century’s first such calculated effort to destroy people on a massive scale, the Armenian Genocide led academics to coin and utilize the very 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 bulk 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 from the Genocide, to the loving Christian missionaries in the Middle East that housed children, to the European continent and – finally – to the United States; and

Whereas, New York proudly accepts leadership in acknowledging the Armenian Genocide of 1915-23 with recognition that the number of survivors is dwindling and that their courageous testimonials have put a human face on the documentary, photographic and journalistic evidence that supports this very real crime against people; armed with this evidence and with the memory of the elderly who experienced and witnessed its occurrence, the community rightfully seeks fullest recognition of the Genocide; and

Whereas, it is fitting that all New Yorkers appreciate the hardships Armenians faced, if not only for the purpose of preventing tragedies such as the Armenian Genocide of 1915-23 from recurring, then to understand better how the United State’s role as a refuge for all oppressed peoples has been a noble one;

Now, Therefore, I, George E. Pataki, Governor of the State of New York, do hereby proclaim April 24, 2004 as

Armenian Remembrance Day

in the Empire State and offer the community hopes for success in educating the broader community during the 89th 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 sixteenth

day of April in the year two thousand four.


Governor


Secretary to the Governor

 

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