Record Level of Support for Congressional Letter Sends Strong Message to White House

April 21, 2005

WASHINGTON, DC — A record number of U.S. Representatives sent a Congressional letter to President Bush today, urging him to reaffirm the U.S. record on the Armenian Genocide by properly characterizing the atrocities as “genocide.” The letter comes days after a similar Senate initiative, which garnered the support of an unprecedented 32 Senators, a 45% increase over the previous year.

The April 20th letter, spearheaded by Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairmen Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Joe Knollenberg (R-MI), stresses that “by properly recognizing the terrible atrocities committed against the Armenian people as ‘genocide’ in your statement, you will honor the many Americans who helped launch the unprecedented U.S. diplomatic, political and humanitarian campaign to end the carnage and protect the survivors.”

“We were very gratified by the announcement this evening by the Co-Chairman of the Armenian Caucus that a record total of one hundred and seventy-eight U.S. Representatives have joined together in calling on the President to properly recognize the Armenian Genocide in his April 24th remarks,” said Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the ANCA, following a special 90th anniversary Armenian Genocide observance on Capitol Hill. “Along with the thirty-two Senators who sent a similar letter earlier this week to the White House, this brings to two hundred and ten the total number of U.S. legislators formally calling for the President to speak with historical accuracy and moral clarity about this crime against humanity. We welcome this unprecedented level of Congressional leadership and urge the President to heed their call and honor the pledge he made in February of 2000 to properly recognize the Armenian Genocide.”

Representatives Pallone and Knollenberg, in a March 3rd letter to their House colleagues, encouraged them to lend their voice to the effort noting, that “by properly affirming the Armenian Genocide, we can help ensure the legacy of the Genocide is remembered so this human tragedy will not be repeated.” Over the past several weeks, Armenian Americans from across the U.S. have been sending ANCA WebFaxes to their Representatives urging them to co-sign the letter to the President. On April 7th, Representative Knollenberg joined with Republican House Members George Radanovich (R-CA), Michael Bilirakis (R-FL), Mark Souder (R-IN) and Mark Foley (R-FL) in urging their party colleagues to encourage Pres. Bush to follow Senator Dole’s lead and “simply tell the truth.”

Members of Congress joining Reps. Pallone and Knollenberg in co-signing the letter included:

Neil Abercrombie (D-HI), Gary Ackerman (D-NY), Tom Allen (D-ME), Robert Andrews (D-NJ), Joe Baca (D-CA), Brian Baird (D-WA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Charles Bass (R-NH), Melissa Bean (D-IL), Bob Beauprez (R-CO), Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Shelley Berkley (D-NV), Howard Berman (D-CA), Michael Bilirakis (R-FL), Sanford Bishop (D-GA), Tim Bishop (D-NY), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), Mary Bono (R-CA), Jeb Bradley (R-NH), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ken Calvert (R-CA), Lois Capps (D-CA), Michael Capuano (D-MA), Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), Dennis Cardoza (D-CA), Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), John Conyers (D-MI), Jim Costa (D-CA), Jerry Costello (D-IL), Christopher Cox (R-CA), Joseph Crowley (D-NY), Duke Cunningham (R-CA), Danny Davis (D-IL), Susan Davis (D-CA), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), William Delahunt (D-MA), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL), John Dingell (D-MI), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), John Doolittle (R-CA), Mike Doyle (D-PA), David Dreier (R-CA), Vernon Ehlers (R-MI), Rahm Emanuel (D-IL), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Lane Evans (D-IL), Sam Farr (D-CA), Chaka Fattah (D-PA), Tom Feeney (R-FL), Mike Ferguson (R-NJ), Bob Filner (D-CA), Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Mark Foley (R-FL), Vito Fossella (R-NY), Barney Frank (D-MA), Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), Scott Garrett (R-NJ), Jim Gerlach (R-PA), Mark Green (R-WI), Gene Green (D-TX), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Tim Holden (D-PA), Rush Holt (D-NJ), Michael Honda (D-CA), Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Steve Israel (D-NY), Darrell Issa (R-CA), Jesse Jackson (D-IL), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Nancy Johnson (R-CT), Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Sue Kelly (R-NY), Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), Dale Kildee (D-MI), Carolyn Kilpatrick (D-MI), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), James Langevin (D-RI), John Larson (D-CT), Steven LaTourette (R-OH), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Sander Levin (D-MI), John Lewis (D-GA), Daniel Lipinski (D-IL), Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Nita Lowey (D-NY), Dan Lungren (R-CA), Stephen Lynch (D-MA), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Edward Markey (D-MA), Jim Matheson (D-UT), Doris Matsui (D-CA), Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI), Jim McDermott (D-WA), James McGovern (D-MA), John McHugh (R-NY), Mike McIntyre (D-NC), Buck McKeon (R-CA), Michael McNulty (D-NY), Martin Meehan (D-MA), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Michael Michaud (D-ME), George Miller (D-CA), Candice Miller (R-MI), Gwen Moore (D-WI), James Moran (D-VA), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Richard Neal (D-MA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Devin Nunes (R-CA), John Olver (D-MA), C. L. “Butch” Otter (R-ID), William Pascrell (D-NJ), Donald Payne (D-NJ), Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Collin Peterson (D-MN), Richard Pombo (R-CA), Jon Porter (R-NV), George Radanovich (R-CA), Charles Rangel (D-NY), Mike Rogers (R-MI), Mike Ross (D-AR), Steven Rothman (D-NJ), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Edward Royce (R-CA), Bobby Rush (D-IL), Paul Ryan (R-WI), John Salazar (D-CO), Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), Linda Sanchez (D-CA), Bernard Sanders (I-VT), H. James Saxton (R-NJ), Janice Schakowsky (D-IL), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Allyson Schwartz (D-PA), Joe Schwarz (R-MI), E. Clay Shaw (R-FL), Christopher Shays (R-CT), Brad Sherman (D-CA), John Shimkus (R-IL), Rob Simmons (R-CT), Christopher Smith (R-NJ), Hilda Solis (D-CA), Mark Souder (R-IN), Pete Stark (D-CA), John Sweeney (R-NY), Ellen Tauscher (D-CA), Mike Thompson (D-CA), John Tierney (D-MA), Edolphus Towns (D-NY), Mark Udall (D-CO), Christopher Van Hollen (D-MD), Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), Peter Visclosky (D-IN), James Walsh (R-NY), Maxine Waters (D-CA), Diane Watson (D-CA), Henry Waxman (D-CA), Anthony Weiner (D-NY), Curt Weldon (R-PA), Gerald Weller (R-IL), Joe Wilson (R-SC), Frank Wolf (R-VA), Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), David Wu (D-OR), and Albert Wynn (D-MD).

The complete text of the Congressional letter is provided below.


Text of Congressional Letter to President Bush

April 20, 2005

The Honorable Geroge W. Bush
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

We are writing to urge you to join us in reaffirming the United States record on the Armenian Genocide in your upcoming April 24th commemorative statement.

This date marks the 90th anniversary of the systematic and deliberate campaign of genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire in 1915. Over the following eight years, one and a half million Armenians were murdered, and more than have a million were forced from their homeland into exile. In the years since, descendants of Armenian immigrants have clung to their identity and have prospered across this nation and throughout the world. The United States is fortunate to be home to an organized and active Armenian community, whose members contribute and participate in every aspect of civic life.

By properly recognizing the terrible atrocities committed against the Armenian people as “genocide” in your statement, you will honor the many Americans who helped launch the unprecedented U.S. diplomatic, political and humanitarian campaign to end the carnage and protect the survivors. The U.S. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, Henry Morgenthau, acting on instructions from Secretaries of State William Jennings Bryan and Robert Lansing, protested the slaughter of the Armenians to the Ottoman leaders. Without out intervention, the Ottoman Empire’s genocidal plan would have been even more lethal.

As you have eloquently declared, Americans are blessed with freedom and security, but that good fortune brings with it an important responsibility. The United States must never allow crimes against humanity to pass without remembrance and condemnation. As U.S. efforts to aid victims of genocide continue, it is imperative that we pay tribute to the memory of others who have suffered and to never forget the past. By commemorating the Armenian Genocide, we renew our commitment to prevent future atrocities, and therefore negate the dictum that history is condemned to repeat itself.

We look forward to your April 24th statement and, as always, stand ready to work with you on this and the many other matters of importance to our nation.


For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
Email / Tel: (202) 775-1918
Armenian National Committee of America
888 17th Street, NW, Suite 904, Washington, DC 20006
Tel. (202) 775-1918 * Fax. (202) 775-5648 * Email.anca@anca.org
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