US Congressmen call on Trump to mark April 24 as Armenian Genocide commemoration day
YEREVAN, APRIL 12, ARMENPRESS. The leadership of the Congressional Armenian Caucus today called on their U.S. House colleagues to join them in pressing US President Donald Trump to reject Turkey’s gag-rule by honestly and accurately commemorating the Armenian Genocide this April 24th, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
“Recep Erdogan is undermining U.S. interests, insulting U.S. allies, and threatening U.S. forces, yet he’s still granted a veto over U.S. policy on the Armenian Genocide,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “American complicity in Ankara’s genocide denial is a relic of the Cold War. It didn’t make sense then, and it makes even less sense now. “Take a moment today to ask your U.S. Representatives to demand an end to Turkey’s gag-rule.”
In a “Dear Colleague” letter to U.S. Representatives, Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Jackie Speier (D-CA), David Trott (R-MI) and David Valadao (R-CA) as well as Vice-Chairs Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and Adam Schiff (D-CA) explained that: “The Armenian Genocide continues to stand as an important reminder that crimes against humanity must not go without recognition and condemnation. Through recognition of the Armenian Genocide, we pay tribute to the perseverance and determination of those who survived, as well as to the Americans of Armenian descent who continue to strengthen our country to this day. It is our duty to honor those contributions with an honest statement of history recognizing the massacre of 1.5 million Armenians as the 20th century’s first genocide. By commemorating the Armenian Genocide, we renew our commitment to prevent future atrocities.” They closed by asking that the President: “appropriately mark April 24th as a day of American remembrance of the Armenian Genocide.”
The ANCA has launched a nationwide online letter writing and calling campaign urging Members of Congress to co-sign the Armenian Caucus letter to President Trump.
Text of Congressional Letter to President Trump
Dear President Trump:
We are writing to urge you to properly commemorate the 103 rd Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide on April 24th.
In leading an honest and accurate American remembrance of this known case of genocide, you will stand with President Reagan, who recognized the Armenian Genocide in 1981, and the Eisenhower Administration, which did the same in a 1951 submission to the International Court of Justice. The House of Representatives has also commemorated the Armenian Genocide, through H.J.Res.148 in 1975 and H.J.Res.247 in 1984.
Armenia remains deeply committed to expanding the bonds of friendship that have long connected the American and Armenian peoples. Among the proudest chapters in our shared history is America’s remarkable record of protesting the Genocide and in caring for the survivors of this crime. The United States Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire in 1915, Henry Morgenthau, helped to chronicle the brutal extermination of the Armenian people through a campaign of mass murder and violent expulsion.
In the years after the genocide, Ambassador Morgenthau and other concerned Americans launched the Near East Relief, a congressionally chartered humanitarian organization, which raised $116 million (over $2.7 billion in 2018 dollars) to aid the victims of the Ottoman Empire’s mass murder of millions of Armenians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Greeks, Syriacs, and other persecuted peoples. The generosity of the American people saved countless lives and helped to ensure the continued survival of the Armenian culture.
The Armenian Genocide continues to stand as an important reminder that crimes against humanity must not go without recognition and condemnation. Through recognition of the Armenian Genocide we pay tribute to the perseverance and determination of those who survived, as well as to the Americans of Armenian descent who continue to strengthen our country to this day. It is our duty to honor those contributions with an honest statement of history recognizing the massacre of 1.5 million Armenians as the 20th century’s first genocide. By commemorating the Armenian Genocide, we renew our commitment to prevent future atrocities.
In the spirit of honoring the victims and redoubling our commitment to prevent genocide, we ask you to appropriately mark April 24th as a day of American remembrance of the Armenian Genocide.
Thank you for taking our views into consideration.
English –translator/editor: Stepan Kocharyan
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