RESOLUTION FOR THE CENTENNIAL ANNIVERSARY OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE
Long Branch, New Jersey
WHEREAS, Armenians have resided in Asia Minor and the Caucasus for approximately four millennia, and have a long and rich history in the region, including the establishment of many kingdoms, and despite Armenians 1 historic presence, stewardship, and autonomy in the region, Turkish rulers of the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Turkey subjected Armenians to severe and unjust persecution and brutality, including wholesale massacres beginning in the 1890s; and
WHEREAS, The Armenian Nation was subjected to a systematic and premeditated Genocide officially beginning on April 24, 1915, at the hands of the Young Turk Government of the Ottoman Empire from 1915-1919 and continued at the hands of the Kemalist Movement of Turkey from 1920-1923 whereby over 1.5 million Armenian men, women and children were slaughtered or marched to their deaths in an effort to annihilate the Armenian Nation in the First Genocide of modern times, while thousands of surviving Armenian women and children were forcibly converted and lslamized, and hundreds of thousands more were subjected to ethnic cleansing during the period of the modern Republic of Turkey from 1924-1937; and
WHEREAS, During the genocide of the Christians living in the Ottoman Empire and surrounding regions which occurred during the first half of the Twentieth Century, 1.5 million men, women, and children of Armenian descent, and hundreds of thousands of Assyrians, Greeks and other Christians, lost their lives at the hands of the Ottoman Turkish Empire and the Republic of Turkey, constituting one of the most atrocious violations of human rights in the history of the world; and
WHEREAS, Near East Relief succeeded, with the active participation of the citizens from the City of Long Branch, in delivering $117 million of assistance, and saving more than one million refugees, including 132,000 orphans, between 1915 and 1930, by delivering food, clothing, and materials for shelter, setting up refugee camps, clinics, hospitals, and orphanages; and
WHEREAS, The United States is on record as having officially recognized the Armenian Genocide in the United States government’s May 28, 1951, written statement to the International Court of Justice regarding the Reservations to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, through President Ronald Reagan’s April 22, 1981, Proclamation No. 4838, and by Congressional legislation including House Joint Resolution 148 adopted on April 8, 1975, and House Joint Resolution 247 adopted on September 10, 1984; and
WHEREAS, Adolph Hitler, in persuading his army commanders that the merciless persecution and killing of Jews, Poles, and other people would bring no retribution, declared, “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”; and
WHEREAS, Unlike other people and governments that have admitted and denounced the abuses and crimes of predecessor regimes, and despite the Turkish governments’ earlier admissions and the overwhelming proof of genocidal intent, the Republic of Turkey inexplicably and adamantly has denied the occurrence of the crimes against humanity committed by the Ottoman and Young Turk rulers for many years, and continues to do so a full century since the first crimes constituting genocide occurred; and
WHEREAS, This measure would declare that the Long Branch City Council deplores the persistent, ongoing efforts by any person, in this country or abroad, to deny the historical fact of the Armenian Genocide; and
WHEREAS, The failure of the international community to hold responsible nations accountable for crimes against humanity results in travesty of justice, and sets a negative precedent; and
WHEREAS, April 24, 1915 is globally observed recognized as the commencement of the Armenian Genocide and April 24, 2015 will mark the centennial anniversary since the commencement of the Armenian Genocide.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Long Branch City Council that it hereby designates the year of 2015, as “City of Long Branch Year of Commemoration of the Centennial Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923” and in doing so, will ensure that the Armenian Genocide is properly commemorated and taught to its citizens and visitors through city-wide educational and cultural events.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Long Branch City Council that it hereby designates April 24 of 2015, and every year thereafter, as “City of Long Branch Day of Commemoration of the Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923” to ensure that the Armenian Genocide will always be properly commemorated.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Long Branch City Council commends its conscientious educators who teach about human rights and genocide, and calls upon them to continue to enhance their efforts to educate students at all levels about the experience of the Armenians and other crimes against humanity.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Long Branch City Council urges the Republic of Turkey to acknowledge the facts of the Armenian Genocide and to work toward a just resolution, to honor its obligations under international treaties and human rights laws, to end all forms of religious discrimination and persecution, to return Christian church properties to their rightful owners, and to allow the owners and congregants of all churches to conduct their religious activities unhindered, including but not limited to: prayer services and religious observances, education and training, community gatherings and social services.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Long Branch City Council respectfully calls upon the Congress and the President of the United States to act likewise and to formally and consistently reaffirm the historical truth that the atrocities committed against the Armenian people constituted genocide.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Clerk of the City of Long Branch transmit copies of this resolution to St. Stepanos Armenian Church and the Armenian National Committee of America.