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ARMENIANS of COLORADO PRESS RELEASE April 25, 2006 Press contact: Kim Christianian P.O. Box 13854 Denver, Colorado 80201 Tel: (303) 588-5524 Kim@lifepics.com
Armenians of Colorado Inc., is pleased to announce the passage of the 5th annual Colorado Armenian Genocide Commemorative Resolution. The resolution passed in both chambers unanimously and the roll calls were added as co-sponsors. State Senator Lois Tochtrop, co-sponsor of all five resolutions, was very pleased with the outcome and said, "I hope that the actions at the state level will encourage or even push the legislators at the Federal level to finally pass the Congressional resolution".
Armenians of Colorado held its annual Commemorative ceremony at the Armenian Genocide Memorial plaque at the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. Co-sponsors Senator Lois Tochtrop and Representative Michael Garcia addressed the crowd as did representatives from Senator Allard and Congressmen Udall's offices.
Armenians of Colorado Inc is proud to also announce a new partnership with the Colorado Coalition for Genocide Awareness & Action. The organization will hold its first conference on May 8, 2006 at the Adams Mark Hotel in Denver Colorado. The conference will consist of renowned genocide scholars and speakers with the focus of organizing efforts leading to the cessation and prevention of genocide. The day will culminate with an "awareness" walk from the hotel to the Colorado State Capitol where a rally and press conference will take place. Many of the partners of the coalition are organizations that Armenians of Colorado Inc has collaborated with in the past to bring events of genocide awareness. "This event will take the level of awareness out of the college setting and bring it to the general public", says Kim Christianian, Chairperson of the Armenian Genocide Commemoration Committee for Armenians of Colorado. Christianian, who has written Colorado's resolutions and proclamations for the last 5 years hopes that through this alliance, the Armenian Genocide curriculum can be introduced into the Social Studies curriculum at the middle and high school level.
The Colorado Armenian community through its coordinated efforts with the Armenian Assembly, ANCA, and Armenians of Colorado Inc., has made great progress in gaining support for Armenian issues at the Federal level. Colorado Congressmen Udall and Beauprez have joined the Congressional Caucus On Armenian Issues as well as signed the House Letter to President Bush and co-sponsored H. Res. 316. Congresswomen Musgrave and Degette have also co-sponsored H. Res. 316. Congressman Salazar has signed the letter to President Bush. Senators Allard and Salazar have both signed the letter and co-sponsored S. Res. 320.
2006 Colorado Armenian Genocide Commemorative Resolution CONCERNING REMEMBRANCE OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE FROM 1915 TO 1923 ON APRIL 24, 2006, and every year hereafter, AS "COLORADO DAY OF REMEMBRANCE OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE" WHEREAS, This year marks the 91st Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide when 1.5 million men, women, and children of Armenian descent were victims of the brutal genocide perpetrated by the Turkish Ottoman Empire from 1915-1923; 500,000 more were exiled, and 500,000 were able to escape the regime of terror and establish themselves in new foreign lands, and, as a result, today there are only 100,000 people of Armenian heritage left residing within the borders of modern Turkey; and
WHEREAS, The United States' Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, Henry Morgenthau, Sr., stated, "Whatever crimes the most perverted instincts of the human mind can devise, and whatever refinements of persecutions and injustice the most debased imagination can conceive, became the daily misfortunes of this devoted people. I am confident that the whole history of the human race contains no such horrible episode as this. The great massacres and persecutions of the past seem almost insignificant when compared to the sufferings of the Armenian race in 1915". The killing of the Armenian people was followed by the systematic destruction of churches, schools, libraries, treasures of art, and cultural monuments that continues to this day in an attempt to eliminate all traces of a noble civilization with a history of more than 3,000 years."; and
WHEREAS, Contemporary newspapers, such as the New York Times, carried headlines including "Tales of Armenian Horrors Confirmed", "Million Armenians Killed or in Exile", and "Wholesale Massacre of Armenians by Turks"; and
WHEREAS, The Armenian Genocide has been acknowledged by countries and international bodies such as Argentina, Belgium, Canada, the Council of Europe, Cyprus, the European parliament, France, Great Britain, Greece, Lebanon, Russia, the United Nations, and Uruguay; and
WHEREAS, Modern Turkey continues to deny and distort the facts of the genocide and to honor the perpetrators of that crime against humanity as national heroes; and
WHEREAS, The Armenian people have been denied the right to self-determination on their ancestral lands and have received no form of reparations for their tragic loss; and
WHEREAS, Each year, Armenians throughout the world honor those who perished from 1915 to 1923, and all the world's people should commemorate the Armenian Genocide and condemn any attempt to deny its historical truth or mischaracterize the episode as anything less than genocide the term coined by Raphael Lemkin in 1944 who referenced the Armenian massacres as a seminal example of such an atrocity; a crime against humanity; and
WHEREAS, We must all do our best to raise awareness about the Armenian Genocide not only because it is an undeniable chapter of world history, but also because learning more about this unconscionable tragedy will help people better understand the necessity of eliminating hatred in our own communities; to that end, we support the efforts of Armenians of Colorado Inc. to encourage the educators in Colorado to include the Armenian Genocide in the school curriculum. We also commend our local PBS stations KRMA, and KBDI for airing the documentary The Armenian Genocide by filmmaker Andrew Goldberg scheduled for April 17th and April 26th respectively and encourage our Legislative colleagues to watch the program.
WHEREAS, For four consecutive years this legislative body has passed a similar joint resolution in which the roll calls were added as co-sponsors designating April 24 as "Colorado Day of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide"; and
WHEREAS, Armenian-Americans living in Colorado have greatly enriched our state through their leadership in business, agriculture, academia, government, and the arts; now, therefore,
1. That this legislative body pause in its deliberations to commemorate the 91st Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide to be recognized at a memorial service on Sunday, April 23, 2006, at the Armenian Genocide memorial plaque located in the northeast quadrant on the State Capitol grounds;
2. That we, the members of the General Assembly, hereby acknowledge April 24, 2006, and every year hereafter, as "Colorado Day of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide";
3. That the State of Colorado respectfully urges the United States Congress to likewise commemorate the Armenian Genocide.
Be It Further Resolved, That copies of this Joint Resolution be sent to the Honorable George W. Bush, President of the United States; the members of the Colorado Congressional Delegation; the members of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues of which Colorado Congressmen Udall and Beauprez have joined; the Honorable Bill Owens, Governor of Colorado; the Armenian Assembly of America in Washington, D.C.; and the Armenian National Committee in Washington, D.C.