April 24, 2005
WHEREAS, the Armenian Genocide was conceived and carried out by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923, resulting in the deportation of nearly 2,000,000 Christian Armenians, of whom 1,500,000 men, women, and children were killed, 500,000 survivors were expelled from their homes, and which succeeded in the elimination of the over 2,500-year presence of Armenians in their historic homeland; and
WHEREAS, the unfolding Armenian Genocide was widely reported in Rochester and Minnesota newspapers of the day; and Minnesotans played a leading role in international relief efforts; and
WHEREAS, the failure of the domestic and international authorities to punish those responsible for the Armenian Genocide laid the groundwork for the Holocaust, Cambodia, Rwanda, Darfur, and similar genocides since 1915;
WHEREAS, the tragedy of the Armenian Genocide has been acknowledged by fifteen countries, the European Parliament, and the United Nations; by Presidents Reagan, G. H. Bush, Clinton, and G. W. Bush; by three-quarters of the U.S. States, including Minnesota; and by the Mayors of Duluth, Minneapolis, Rochester, and Saint Paul; and
WHEREAS, international scholars of the Holocaust and genocide, including Profs. Stephen Feinstein and Eric Weitz of the University of Minnesota and Eric Markusen of Southwest State University, have affirmed that the World War I Armenian Genocide is an incontestable historical fact; and the Minnesota Academic Standards in History and Social Studies likewise recognize it as such; and
WHEREAS, the groundbreaking work of University of Minnesota Prof. Taner Akcam and other like-minded Turkish scholars represents a vital step towards truth, justice, and reconciliation; and
WHEREAS, since 1899 Armenian-Americans of Minnesota have made substantial contributions in arts and sciences, commerce, community service, and government, notably the 2004 incorporation of the Armenian Genocide Museum and Memorial in Washington, D.C.; and
WHEREAS, on this 90th anniversary of the onset of the Armenian Genocide, which is traditionally observed on April 24, it is fitting that all people of goodwill join the Armenian-American community in commemoration of this crime against humanity.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Ardell F. Brede, Mayor of the City of Rochester do officially proclaim Sunday, April 24, 2005, as
ARMENIAN GENOCIDE REMEMBRANCE DAY
in the City of Rochester
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the corporate seal of the City of Rochester to be affixed this 24 day of April in the year of two thousand five.
Mayor Ardell F. Brede