April 19, 2012

AUGUSTA, ME —The Armenian American community of Maine along with the Armenian National Committee of America-Eastern Region (ANCA-ER) welcomed the presentation of a joint proclamation of the Maine State Legislature commemorating the 97th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. The proclamation recalled the Armenian Genocide and noted the contribution of Armenian Americans, including survivors of the Genocide, to the state.

“Over the past decade we have had a strong relationship with our friends in the state legislature,” noted Gerard Kiladjian, a resident of Portland and one of the individuals who spearheaded the proclamation effort this year. “We look forward to growing this relationship with our public officials in the years to come so that we can continue to educate them about the Armenian Genocide and its impact today as well as the rich cultural heritage its survivors and the community bring to the Pine State today.”

The proclamation was lead by Maine State Senator Joseph Brannigan (SD-009-Westbrook-D), a long-time leader of the commemoration in the Maine State Senate. The proclamation was co-sponsored by Maine State Senator and Justin Alfond (SD-008-Portland-D) as well as Maine State Representatives Anne Haskell (HD-117-Portland-D) and Diane Russell (HD-120-Portland-D).

Kathy Malconian, a long-time member of the Maine Armenian community and ANCA activist also participated in the commemoration event along with nearly a dozen other community members. Her brother, John, helped start Maine’s tradition of commemorating the Armenian Genocide over 20 years ago.

“Our parents, who were survivors of the Armenian Genocide, instilled in us the importance of remembering, commemorating, and educating others about the Genocide,” said Malconian. “Sadly, the cycle of genocide continues to this day in places like Darfur. As part of a community that has suffered through genocide, it is important that we ensure that the government remembers the Armenian Genocide so that we can learn the lessons of our past and work together as a community to fight against the bigotry and intolerance that gives rise to future genocides.”

Both Malconian and Kiladjian are also members of the Armenian Cultural Association of Maine, formerly known as the Armenian Club of Portland. Throughout the year, the Armenian Cultural Association hosts cultural and educational events ranging from academic presentations to performance. The Armenian Cultural Association of Maine provides a community nexus for Maine’s Armenian community as well as raise awareness among Maine’s non-Armenian community about its rich cultural heritage.

The Armenian National Committee of America-Eastern Region is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization in the Eastern United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Eastern United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANCA-ER advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.



Be it known to all that we, the Members of the Senate and House of Representatives, join in recognizing the 97th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

On April 24, 1915, a campaign was launched by the Turkish regime of the Ottoman Empire against the Armenian people, resulting in the death of more than 1.5 million Armenians. Some of the survivors settled in the State of Maine, and their heirs have made significant contributions to the State.

We join our citizens of Armenian heritage in remembering this event, and we express our deepest sympathy for the families of those who perished; And be it ordered that this official expression of sentiment be sent forthwith on behalf of the 125th Legislature and the people of the State of Maine.

Given this 10th Day of April 2012
at the State Capitol

PHOTO CAPTION: Members of the Maine Armenian Community and State Legislature (right) at the State Capitol in Augusta

For Immediate Release
Media Contact: James Sahagian
Email / Tel: 917-428-1918
Armenian National Committee of America
Eastern Region
80 Bigelow Ave, Watertown, MA 02472
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